Writer Author  Cheryl Mariano
Christian Article : Forgiveness  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer l Timothy 1:15 (KJV)

This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

I'm not proud to say it, but I can kind of identify with the Apostle Paul in this statement.

I was thirty years old when I was saved, and prior to salvation, well acquainted with sin.

Of course we all know a prerequisite for salvation is you must know and admit you are a sinner, why else would one need a Savior and salvation?

Galatians 6:7 tells us, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Therefore as a result of sin, undesirable consequences follow.

They might manifest in one's health situation, family relationships, finances, living conditions, etc. you get the point, right?

Well as a Christian just saved and planted in church, I felt out of place, like I didn't belong.

Many times listening to different ones speak or share, it seemed as though they had always lived a rather perfect life.

No problems, no worries, no cares, well adjusted children, many even in the ministry.

Well, keep in mind, I was newly saved, and when I came to Christ, I was a wreck! The only difference now was, I was a saved wreck! My family was in shambles, finances a mess, and unhealthy living played a part in my poor health.

Because others seemed to do so well, it got to the point where I didn't feel safe or secure letting people get to know me, or my family, I mean, what would they think of me?!

The following poem called "Masks" describes how I felt.

In my bedroom drawer
Neatly tucked away
What mask to church
Will I wear today?

There are four from which
I have to choose
But today I'll wear the one
That hides the Blues

My Smiley mask
I've nearly worn out
It hides so well
My fears and doubts

My Spiritual mask
Works like a jewel
It hides me when
I've been mean and cruel

The mask I call
My Ace in the hole
Hides me when
My heart is cold

Sometimes I wish
Others could see
Right past the mask
And into me

And help me find
My way back home
To God's dear arms
From whence I've roamed

But others seem
To do so well
My failures I wouldn't
Dare to tell

Then the question
To myself I ask
I wonder if they too
Wear a mask?

Praise God, He gives us a new start upon salvation, II Corinthians 5:17 but so many of us are hurting from the consequences of sins made in the past, and our church, of all places, should be place of safety, where we can be truthful and transparent about what we may be facing, as we at the same time, grow and mature in Christ.

As believers in Jesus Christ I know it is our heart’s desire to lead people to the Lord. May we also ask God for insight, patience, and mercy to spot those who may feel out of place and are struggling as they are learning and growing in God’s Word and being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.

Lord our prayer is to be more sensitive, and alert to our struggling brothers and sisters in Christ. Give us your love, eyes, heart, and hands, we pray. Amen.

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