Guilt. It always stops me in my tracks.
I'm in the midst of a decision I know in my soul is right, but I feel guilty because it will let some people down.
These are people I like, people I've had a relationship with for more than six years, people who I want to like me.
This morning, I almost talked myself out of this decision, not because it wasn't right for me or my family, but because I was afraid of disappointing or angering people.
And if I'm being really honest, I'm also afraid I'll be judged.
All this is counterproductive. I need to make this change. I need to do it in the most gracious way I can.
But it's a situation where right and wrong aren't so clear. Where what's loving isn't obvious, and it's tangled with history and obligation and a whole host of other things that have nothing to do with freedom.
Why am I telling you this?
I suppose because it's much on my mind. But it's also because I suspect if you're a person — and maybe especially if you try to follow Jesus — you're bound to feel guilty sometimes.
This scripture printable reminds me that Jesus didn't come to make me feel guilty. God gave us Jesus to save us.
He knew we'd screw up.
He knew sometimes the right thing would hurt people we love.
He knew the right thing wouldn't always be clear.
He knew sometimes we would just do wrong because we wanted to.
And he took on skin and decided to face all of that with us.
That is the miracle of Christmas, not Santa, not gifts, not the two feet of snow we got this week like an early, sparkly present. Not even the fact that for a few weeks, people seem kinder and more focused on each other.
It's this salvation from ourselves.
God is with us. And God is for us.
Trust him, and do the best you can, knowing it won't be enough, but Jesus will.
Merry Christmas, a bit early.