The world is full of broken people. No one is born perfect. None is born unbroken.
Often, this brokenness manifests itself in us, through life, until we find redemption. This is why you try to be as good as you can but still find yourself susceptible to a personal weakness, and your brother to his. You find that you can’t help lying, he can’t cease from pride. You are lustful towards men, they lust after children, even their daughters, and nieces. Sometimes you are jealous, most times covetous, often ungrateful, unsatisfied with the graces of the life you now have; they are many times selfish, possessors of destructive anger, hateful, will gladly take the life of another in God’s name. Maybe you’re hateful too, but your hatred is towards you, there’s nothing you like about yourself. You never feel enough, and this often nearly leads you to depression.
These are signs of this brokenness which pervades all who are yet to find redemption. For some, it is hidden, they alone know what they suffer or endure, for others, quite conspicuous, seen by all. Whether religious or irreligious, this thing spares no one.
Sexually Abused At Five
Or how do you explain the case of a five-year-old child who always wanted to do things that she grew to realize that only married couples should do?
This was my experience. I can’t remember well enough to tell why I was this way, but I remember growing up with the memory that I had these unusual sexual urges as a child. This made me easily susceptible to abuse (if that describes it right). You know, it’s one thing for a child to be sexually abused, and it’s another thing for her to seem to be asking for it – although in both cases the child should never suffer blame. The latter was my case. I would suddenly become unnecessarily attached to people once I had this unusual feeling. Some of these people were sensible enough not to have their way with me. Others weren’t.
I vaguely remember an instance. We had some teenagers around, who’d completed secondary school and were waiting to get into the university. Whenever I had this urge, I would always approach one of them and become attached to him and he would have his way with me. Memory fails me a bit, but I believe there was a particular occasion where he went all the way. I am to a great degree convinced that it did happen and had to live with the guilt several years after I became more aware.
Guilt, Trauma And A Loss Of Self-Esteem
These events were accompanied by enduring consequences. The guilt and trauma which resulted from them stayed with me for years. Often feeling unworthy, I lost my self-esteem.
I garnered this negative reputation in my neighborhood. The lady who did messy things as a child. There are people I grew up with that I often hoped not to come in contact with. I doubt I’d be able to bear the awkwardness, the shame I would feel in such situations.
For long, I suffered these things. Alone. I never even told my parents. How could I?! With what mouth was I supposed to? This is about the first time I’m really letting this out.
Where Religion Fails
As I grew older, I came to know that I couldn’t give myself over to people the way I did as a child. The memory of those years hurt but they did not cause the urges to cease. Maybe they reduced but they did not stop. As I grew, I escaped wrongly engaging these urges because there was often no partner to get in the act with. This is one of the many failing points of mere religious dos and don’ts. How do you choose to just follow a rule when every part of you screams different? How insensitive can such god be? I couldn’t choose not to feel like I did, it just happened. And this is where Jesus proves different from mere religion. As the Bible puts it, He sympathizes with our weaknesses.And this is where Jesus proves different from mere religion. He sympathizes with our weaknesses.Click To Tweet
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses. Instead, we have one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet he never sinned.
Jesus Forgives, Delivers And Grants Control
I met Jesus, and when I did, there was nothing dramatic about how I met Him. In my third year at the university, I attended a meeting. The minister spoke of Jesus’ jealous love for humanity. I found reason to accept Jesus after his ministration. It was nothing dramatic, but it was life-changing. Coming to know Him took care of many of the challenges I had been facing. He, for example, gave me this new self-identity.
Here’s how. Let’s say you’ve been a thief or have had this addiction to pornography or have been generally sexually immoral. When you get to meet Jesus, He doesn’t just ask you to quit sinning and then leave you to yourself. No, He doesn’t. How would you rid yourself of all your sins and weaknesses alone – even the ones that aren’t exactly evident to you? Wouldn’t you be miserable if you tried?
So here’s what Jesus does: He makes clear to you that such things are wrong and that man’s innate sinfulness makes him naturally deserving of God’s judgment, then He offers you His forgiveness, after which if you receive you are given the ability to live in control of these sins. They cease to have control over you; He gives what it takes for you to be in control of them. Then He speaks words similar to this to you “You are no longer a thief, you are no more sexually immoral. Now saintly, a child of God, no more a sinner, you may go and no more commit these sins.”When Jesus saves you, He says to you: 'Now saintly, a child of God, no more a sinner, you may go and sin no more.'Click To Tweet
So even if you feel tempted to steal, you don’t have to because you now have control over whatsoever would have pushed you into the act. Same goes for the other mentioned sins. Rather than be in a situation where you feel you have no control over them, you now have the choice and control to see out the temptation or not.
I Found Myself In Jesus
In bringing these things to me, Jesus helped me find my true identity, I came to understand my place in Him, my place in God, my place in the world. The memories of my past haven’t exactly left me but I no longer feel guilty about them, because I’ve come to realize I am no more that person I used to be. I found identity in Christ.
Meeting Jesus also helped deal with my lack of self-esteem. In addition to feeling unfit and unworthy of quality relationships, I had voices in my head: “nobody likes you”, and other such demeaning voices. Jesus healed me from these things and has made me a better person.
Getting to know Jesus in person is a most liberating experience. This liberation is a lifelong adventure. For some, a great deal of this liberation becomes instantly evident just after they meet Jesus – the changes are immediately drastic. For others, it is gradual. Whichever form yours take, Jesus truly liberates. Religion by itself doesn’t. It can’t. Mere religion hurts so much because it places weights and standards on you that you, on your own, cannot bear. I remember once being ill, with a reproductive tract infection. I was worried sick. Feared I was being retributed for all I had done in the past; that God was punishing me. I would go on to cry and plead for healing. This is what misconceived religion does. Knowing Christ is nothing like it. It is liberating, it is healing. It sets the ultimate standard for how your life should be lived, gives you no license to do wrong, against God, your neighbor, yourself. And through it all, you find that you are never left to walk this walk on your own.
If you haven’t met this Beloved Jesus, I hope you get to meet Him soon.
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