For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. Hebrews 2:16-18
When we judge ourselves it can be easy to conclude that we will never be good enough to walk with Christ.
Reading the Beatitudes, we likely find ourselves coming up short. Are we meek enough? Pure enough in our pursuit of righteousness? Would Christ recognize us as peacemakers? As merciful? Would we graciously accept persecution for the sake of Christ?
We can look at the devotion of the saints and the courage of the martyrs, perhaps forgetting they also were human and flawed in ways not memorialized in their hagiographies, and come to the conclusion that we will never live up to their standard.
Making these comparisons can be discouraging, and may lead us to believe it’s not worth the try, since we seem doomed to fail. And, it is true most of us never will be saints. We will sin. We will fall. We will fail. But, we need not be discouraged, and we must not give up.
Our courage lies in this: Christ did not become human to seek out those who attained perfection. Christ, who was the Word, was with God and was God in the beginning, chose to become like us not to discourage us, but to embrace us and bring us into the Word in spite of our flaws.
To teach mercy and love, Christ stands beside us in our sin and doubt, to show us how to follow The Way through all the shortcomings of this life. With Christ beside us we have not only the promise of perfection in the next life, but of God’s peace in this life, as we follow the path of sinners striving to be saints.
God, give us the peace of knowing Christ is with us, in all our flaws and failings, and grant us the strength and courage to get back up every time we fall, to strive again for sainthood every time we find ourselves the sinner.