Good Read: On Damaged Goods and Christians

A good read today is this essay by Sarah Bessey, I am damaged goods. {Please, please read it.} Though her essay is on sex and the judgment and shame she felt, I think that there are many things Christians do and say that makes us feel judged and ashamed, likening us to “damaged goods.” {One that comes to mind immediately that I have personally felt, blended families.}

Christian arrogance is a topic I could go on and on and on about as I have no room for people who believe they are better than others because they live, eat, breathe the church or because of their upbringing or simply because they work in ministry. When I sense this feeling in groups at churches {as I have way too many times before} I immediately disengage. I can’t do it.

“There is no shame in Christ’s love. Let him without sin cast the first stone.”

As I was driving this morning, out of the blue a memory came to me of when I was in college and worked as a summer ministries intern at a church. I had let the kids at church use sidewalk chalk and draw all over the sidewalk near the entryway of the church. It was a Friday and once all the kids went home and the senior pastor had a look at what I’d let the kids do he was not happy. Not happy is an understatement, he was angry and asked me, “What will people think?”

If only I could go back to my 19 year old self with a few more years of life experience and boldness and tell him, “people are going to think that this is awesome and that kids are welcome here.”

But I didn’t. I listened to his complaints and arguments and it was then my job to stand with a hose and clean off the cement so as to make sure the church had a pretty, perfect entrance for Sunday morning church. It felt icky and wrong because it gave me the impression that only perfect things were welcome at or in or even around the church. It was about show instead of showing happy children’s hearts it needed to show a perfect brick stained glass entrance with a clean sidewalk.

That’s not the kind of Christian I am or that I want to be.

I am the messy kind of Christian who believes we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I am the kind that would rather reflect a joyful heart than a dishonestly perfect one. And He still loves me. He still loves me when I fail, day after day after day. Because I do. 

I’d rather sit in a room of nonbelievers than a room of arrogant, condemning Christians.

Perhaps you have felt shut out of the church because of less than perfect behavior, perhaps you have felt judgment and declared yourself a member of the “Nones”. I hope Sarah’s words speak to you today no matter what it is you’ve felt judged about and that you know that you are not damaged goods.

“Darling, young one burning with shame and hiding in the silence, listen now: Don’t believe that lie. You never were, you never will be, damaged goods.” – Sarah Bessey

I am damaged goods {Sarah Bessey}

Related post by me from last March: Let’s Talk About Jesus and the Church