One of our long time readers shares his thoughts after reading "The Last Time I Got Drunk" from the BadChristian, Great Savior book, with hopes to answer the question, “Which is more sinful: to not walk a Christian life in fear of falling, or begin the walk and stumble several times?”
Although “The Last Time I Got Drunk” by Matt Carter in Bad Christian/Great Savior is a short section, it expresses a lot of meaningful truths to me. First off, I really admire Matt’s willingness to be so transparent about his sin; He is upfront from the very beginning that what he did was a sin and that he felt shame for it (contrition is necessary for change, I believe). As Christians, I believe we are to be open and transparent about our struggles and sins so that the world can see how Christ has changed us. And although we may stumble into the same sin time and time again, grace and salvation are always readily available to those who believe. I am thankful because I know that I would be nothing without them (I’ve never had a problem with drinking, but I can understand the appeal to excessively drink). Matt’s openness about this sin sort of reminded me of a question that I’ve been pondering a lot lately: “Which is more sinful: to not walk a Christian life in fear of falling, or begin the walk and stumble several times?”
I am very far down my Christian walk, so naturally, I believe that the former rather than the latter is the answer to that question. I know that, in spite of my many sins and shortcomings, I have grown quite a bit in Christ and I have allowed Christ to change me. He has done so as He promised and I am very thankful for that. I think in this section, Matt’s wife kind of represents God. Whenever we sin (for the most part), God does not come down hard on us and scold us and tell us what a huge screw up we are (thankfully). Instead, He offers us grace and salvation. He cleanses us of our sins, picks us back up and sends us on our way to continue on the path. The fact that Matt’s wife showed him grace and took care of him was really cool and it definitely reflected how God reacts to our sin (side note: what a heck of a nice lady. I want a girl like that).
Another aspect about this section that I connected with actually has something to do with a devotional I read recently. In it the author mentions Colossians 1:10: “…live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” Matt mentioned that he felt the need to impress/keep up with the guys who were buying him drinks. This is really reflective on how most of the world feels: the need to impress. I know in my life I have spent so much time on wasted endeavors simply to try and impress someone, when all along I didn’t really need to impress them at all. I don’t need anyone’s approval. I need to worry about pleasing God and serving Him in every way that I can. Once I focus on that, the rest just kind of falls away.
Like I mentioned earlier, it was a pretty ballsy thing for Matt to open up about his sin, its consequences and the subsequent shame. I believe that is the process that we all go through whenever we sin and we know we’ve done wrong. Feeling shame definitely sucks, but it does keep us in line and helps us to not commit the same sin again (or do it less). I’m just thankful for Jesus’ sacrifice and that He brought on grace and salvation; none of which I deserve, but will always be thankful for.