Jesus was the only person who ever lived, who never failed. He was the only person who ever lived, who was never once embarrassed. He was the only person who ever lived who was never ashamed.
Why is any of this important? It’s important because Jesus was also in constant motion. He got up early in the morning, he went to bed late, he prayed all the time, he went to dinner parties, he walked through crowds, he spoke in public.
He wasn’t hiding out on a mountaintop somewhere, trying to remain still, and think happy thoughts.
I say that because the other night at dinner I found a remarkable commonality with a dinner guest. I mentioned, in passing, the weirdness of being embarrassed when I found I had drooled in my sleep. Yes, I know, the horror. She felt the same way. But why? Why on earth would we be embarrassed by drooling while unconscious? No one (hopefully) ever watches us sleep. God certainly doesn’t look down on us because our mouths operate as they are designed to.
But we do. We feel ashamed. We feel it at the dumbest times. Sometimes it’s entirely deserved. Sometimes it’s this remarkable moment where everything coalesces into bright, white-hot shame. And other times? Other times it’s silly things no one would ever think twice about.
So why do we let such an arbitrary thing demand so much of us? Why are we so controlled by something that isn’t God?
I have a small theory in progress: what if it’s that we think God’s grace and goodness to us is just for the “big” things?
If God celebrates us, as scripture says He does, then why do we spend obscene amounts of time preening and posturing ourselves to look and be far more impressive than we are? It’s a reversal of creation. God said, “Look at me, and don’t worry about the rest of it.” But we take it and say, “I will worry about all of it, and stop looking at God.”
I, for one, want to embrace my mistakes. I want to fail in ways that I didn’t yesterday. I want to see my pride hanging on a cross. I want to be the worst at some things. Why? Because Jesus has already taken the prize. He’s been the best at everything. And He gives me His record. So who am I impressing anymore?