I'm paying for someone else's sin.
My reputation, my very ability to serve God, is being scarred by the un-Christlikeness of someone else. A nameless, unknown face...perhaps faces...within my own church. Ungodliness in the house of God. Someone says something without thinking, or with selfish motives, or with complete ignorance to the situation, delighting in thinking the worst about someone else. Me. And then someone else overreacts, overcompensates, and falls to the pressure of pleasing the masses. And I'm hurt. Again.
The truth is, my reputation is already scarred. Plenty...by my own un-Christlikeness. I don't need the help of made-up whisperings uttered by mysterious people to know what a wretch I am. Not a day passes in which I don't hate the sin I see in myself, will it to be gone from me. I have more than enough real and true and ever-present sin held within me to incriminate myself without adding the imaginings of someone else to my conscience. I accuse myself...but not of this.
I would accuse myself of this, too....if only it were so.
And the fact that it isn't, not even a little...the fact that I have guarded myself so carefully against this thing, this possibility...makes this accusation hurt all the more.
I feel like screaming at the blind, "Why can't you see?!" And yet blind people admonishing blind people accomplishes nothing. I feel like yelling in anger, "How could you possibly think this thing?!", and yet angry people admonishing angry people accomplishes nothing. I feel like accusing and assuming and blaming and guessing, and yet ignorant people admonishing ignorant people accomplishes nothing.
To be blunt, I feel like being un-Christlike.
And yet un-Christlike people admonishing un-Christlike people accomplishes nothing.
So what must I do? Love. And live. And serve. And obey. All the while knowing that God is still good, and still in control. I have no right to admonish on my own: I am blind, given to anger, ignorant, and un-Christlike. The right belongs to Him. He will accomplish what He desires to accomplish.
And still I am hurt. And tears are flowing. Tears of sadness, yes, and disappointment, and loss. I'm deeply frustrated at the unfairness of it all.
But there are also tears of joy.
For today I have seen evidence that God is making a new creation of me, and the old is slowly passing away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord.