by Michael Kelley
You are special.
I know it sounds trite to say – like something you might hear repeated as a mantra in a kindergarten classroom – but that doesn’t change the truth of the statement.
You are special. You are special because you are an image-bearer of God Almighty. As such, He has intentionally, carefully, and intricately formed and made you with an individual personality, individual physical makeup, individual preferences and personality traits, and individual talents. So the Bible tells us so:
For it was you who created my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I will praise you
because I have been remarkably and wondrously made.
Your works are wondrous,
and I know this very well (Psalm 139:13-14).
You are special, and when you were born again in Christ, God rebirthed you as a unique component of the people of God. Though you might consider yourself small, untalented, or unremarkable, you nevertheless play an essential role in the fulfillment of God’s mission. To put it another way, the church cannot be who she is meant to be unless you are willing to be who you were meant to be. That is, until you are willing to own the gifts of service God has given to you for the sake of His bride and kingdom.
You are special. But here’s the thing:
Your sin is actually not that special.
That doesn’t mean it’s not that big of a deal. It is. And mine is too. If you wonder whether your sin is truly and remarkable heinous, then look again to the cross of Jesus. This is the extent of your sin… and mine too. The price for our wicked rebellion was the crucifixion of Jesus.
So your sin is a big deal, but it’s not that special. But sometimes we might be tempted to think it is. We might think things like:
I’ve gone too far this time.
God cannot possibly love me any more.
I have to pay Him back and earn His good graces.
Though statements like this seem to be humble in nature, they are really a subtle form of pride in disguise. When we think like this, we are really casting doubt on the sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus. Just who do we think we are to look to the cross of Christ and claim, “That death is not quite enough for me. Not for my special brand of sin”?
No, friend, your sin is not that special. You might be unique but your sin is not. Not nearly unique enough to be the “exception” in the gracious gospel.