Blue Like Jazz Series

Blue Like Jazz. One.

Every time I read a book that really hits me hard, I feel the need to tell someone. That’s why I published posts about the inspiring and emotionally wrecking things I read in The Insanity of God. Now I’m reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. I’m only on page 18 and am already a little blown away by how this guy seems to know exactly what is happening in my head.

What I would like to leave you with today is something that has been brewing in my brain for a while now; I just couldn’t figure out how to say it. Lucky for me, someone else did.

“It is hard for us to admit we have a sin nature because we live in this system of checks and balances. If we get caught, we will be punished. But that doesn’t make us good people; it only makes us subdued. Just think about the Congress and Senate and even the president. The genius of the American system is not freedom; the genius of the American system is checks and balances. Nobody gets all the power. Everybody is watching everybody else. It is as if the founding fathers knew, intrinsically, that the soul of man, unwatched, is perverse.”

I’ll be the first person to tell you that humans have a sinful nature. I’ll be the first to tell you that I’m not always perfect. But I’ll be the last to give you the details. Giving the details means admitting the reality of the situation, not just an abstract idea that maybe I mess up sometimes.

But there is danger in ignoring reality and always living in the abstract. There is danger in always putting your emotions into writing and not into words, real audible words you feel comfortable saying to another. There is danger in keeping it all in.

Sin and guilt can build up and they can destroy you unexpectedly. One minute you’re fine because you still look pretty good on the outside. The next minute you’re desperately begging for someone to share the pain with you because it is simply too much to bear alone.

I am not good. But no one else is either. Life isn’t beautiful. It’s messy and hard. We think we can work our way to perfection, but it’s an impossible goal. I think that the more I know God and the longer I explore and strengthen my faith, being good will be easier. Now I know the truth. I can never be good from my own power because my very soul is broken to the core. Everyone knows already. I’m not sure why I keep trying to hide it. And hiding a sin doesn’t make it any less of a sin.

I’m not going to list every detail of my sinful being on the internet. But I am going to attempt to remind myself that I am not alone in this. The checks and balances were placed for a reason; they are not to make me feel guilty, but to remind me there are others going through the same thing. There is also always grace and redemption. Thank God for that one.

Image from: http://www.solliday.org/category/book-reviews/

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4 thoughts on “Blue Like Jazz. One.

  1. One of these days, I’m going to read that. I’ve heard enough good things about Miller’s work, that I do want to read some of it.

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