I don't like thinking of myself as a wretch - a wretch who requires being saved. Who me? A wretch? How can that be helpful to my self-esteem?
Lately I've seen a pattern of people deciding what they "identify" as.
When we don't like what and who we are in our basic form, we have learned to reject it. We don't allow ourselves to assume that identity.
So what if I decide to choose to not identify as a "wretch" - I could.
I would prefer to identify myself as a basically nice person who has some less-than-stellar secret weaknesses. I could identify as a nice but slightly weak person.
Or how about I identify as a good person? I could identify as a good person - most of the time.
I could choose to not identify as a wretched sinner.
I am one.
As long as I don't really understand - or refuse to accept and acknowledge - how wretchedly UNHOLY I am before a HOLY GOD... as long as I don't acknowledge that in my natural state I am inclined to UNHOLINESS and SIN - and - that although God is longsuffering I should not interpret His longsuffering as His compromise or overlooking me and my wretched unholiness.
When I identify as the wretch I am -I discover the amazing truth -
God loves wretches, Jesus came to be a wretch in my place.
And even after I choose to follow Jesus, I continue to battle the wretch inside who is screaming to be allowed to walk in wretched anger, lust, jealousy, unforgiveness, pride, idolatry and gossip.
My identity now?
A righteous wretch.
And God poured His accepting love in to a wretch like me.
And turned a wretch like me in to -
A priest in the Holy Kingdom of The Holy God.
Daughter of the Ancient of Days.
A soldier in the Army of The Lord
Given to wretches.
Only to wretches.