Note to Self7:30 AM
SELF: My dear Bailey, you're rather glum today.
BAILEY: I'm not glum.
S: Certainly not. Most glum people would never walk around moping like you do.
B: But I have a good reason to be glum. I have the best reason ever.
B: I hate myself. There isn't anybody in the world I hate more than me. There isn't anybody in the world more deserving of it too.
S: Well, what took you so long to acknowledge that?
S: It's an established fact that we are, in ourselves, worthy of eternal hatred and punishment. It hasn't bothered you before.
B: But I don't mean - I just hate myself right now.
S: For no specific reasons?
B: For every reason. I'm just so messed up, in so many ways - and I can't take it anymore.
S: So what are you going to do about it?
S: There are either two reasons you are feeling this way. One: Your hormones are in need of a little fun. Or two: You're in need of a little repentance.
S: Really, for a girl who was always the Sunday school teacher's pet, you seem terribly ignorant of salvation. You have the answer right at your fingertips. Why don't you use it?
B: But how can I have an answer if I don't understand the question?
S: Say it again slower.
B: Right now, I just feel all miserable inside - for no particular reason - for no particular sin. I don't even know if some of the things I do are sin. So I don't know what to do. I don't know if I need to repent - I don't know if I need to accept grace - I don't know whether to buck up and consider it a cross or cross it and buck it off.
S: Now you're starting to make sense. In other words, you feel guilty.
S: But you don't know why.
B: Yes. I don't.
S: Have you talked to Him about it?
S: Generally, when you have a heart problem, you ought to talk to the one with the Owner's Manual. Talking to your Self - happy though I am to help - doesn't do much good. You talk too much to me. You take too long to jabbering on about your darkness and depravity. Haven't you forgotten that you don't have to deal with that anymore?
B: But what about dying to self? What about working out our salvation?
S: What about "Christ working in you"? What about "we have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me"? Does that not apply to you anymore?
B: I know, but if Christ is working in me and living in me, why do I feel blacker than a snake pit?
S: Your vision's all wrong. You're looking to your Self, smart as I am. You come to me and say, "You're all dark and depraved and diabolical to the core. How are you going to make me perfect?" That's Christ's job. You look at yourself to find out that you can't save yourself; you look to Christ for the actual saving.
B: I can't look at Him. He's too good - too perfect - too all-powerful and wonderful. Look at His dealing with Israel - exile, death in the wilderness, invasion by enemies. I don't have any more faith than the average Israelite. Why should I expect Him to treat me with mercy when He treated them with judgment for faithlessness?
S: Well, for one thing, you are saved, though you seem to have forgotten it. You have been given the gift of faith - not by works, lest anyone should boast. You have a Savior. You have a High Priest - a High Priest who is anxious that you cast all your cares on him - a High Priest who stands before His holy Father, interceding for every single sinner under His care.
B: But - .
S: "But" is the wrong response to salvation. It is finished. You can't add anything to it if you tried, so you might as well stop. Why can't you trust Him to be faithful?
B: Why would He be faithful to the unfaithful?
S: That is something He decided to do and sealed it with His blood. You can rail against Him - you can say, "It isn't fair that you should love me" - you can deny that He should have died for you - but He loves you more than your Self, and decided that you were worth saving. Not because you were worth saving. But because He decided you were.
B: So now what do I do?
S: A quick review. Christ has paid for all your sins - and the sins of His other wayward sheep too, so there's no reason to worry about the completeness of your sacrifice. Christ has give you His righteousness, so there's nothing to worry about there. Christ has made you heirs with Him. Christ is currently sanctifying you and interceding for you. Come to think of it, there's not much you can do.
B: Isn't accepting doing something?
S: Not unless you're actually doing it. Your piety is interfering with God's grace. Christ was already scourged - don't scourge yourself, as if His scourging wasn't enough.
B: So I - .
S: No "I." All "Him." Focus on that, and you'll keep from drowning.
B: It's that simple?
S: For you it is. For Him it wasn't. So I would start worshipping, if I were you. Which, fortunately, I am.