"I am the Friend"

If you regularly read my blog, you know that my faith in Jesus is very central to my life. In fact, I owe my very life to Him. There were so many times throughout High School and College that I KNOW it was Him keeping me safe. And even when my poor choices ended in horrific consequences, He was there walking through it with me, drawing me to Himself. And then, in His mercy, Jesus pulled me out of the pit, and restored everything that I gave away.

So that’s who I am, a child of the King. But that’s not all… I used to be in the pit and I know what it’s like in there. I know what it’s like to see Christians in their “Christian-y” world and realize that you don’t fit with them… that you might never. In fact, I told someone in college who used to share his faith with me, “Look, I will never be like you. I’m fine the way I am, and I don’t need you telling me my life could be better.” After all, I was the popular, party-girl with lots of wild stories. All the while, despair was lurking in my heart, whispering that God would never accept me anyway.

Needless to say, God did accept me, in fact, he adopted me as a daughter and healed the wounds my lifestyle had caused. For a long time, I stayed in my insulated world of my Christian friends. I totally stopped going to the old places and hanging with those who tempted me to return, and I needed that. Many of my friends didn’t understand why I had changed and it wasn’t until we graduated college that my former roommate said she actually admired me for changing. That hit me deep in my heart and made it all worthwhile.

I believe my life experience puts me in an interesting place in the Christian world, and in the secular world. After many years in what I call the “Christian Bubble,” I believe it has been officially popped. You see, I feel very comfortable hanging out with, and even being close friends with, people with different lifestyles. I’m not afraid that if I let them into my life, that I will “backslide,” because of them. It’s impossible to shock me, with everything I’ve been through, and I don’t judge… because I’ve been there.

Now I’m sure some of my Christian brothers and sisters are getting worried right about now. But don’t let your heart be troubled; I have not given up fellowship with believers, studying the Word, and guarding my heart against sin.

I take comfort in James 1:13-15, which says:

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

If I stay submitted to God, continually allow him to search my heart, and repent when necessary, He will hold me to Him. It is not my surroundings which cause me to sin, but my heart. With that being said, I have to draw the line. There are certain places I will not go, I am not called to go. Though, I submit that just as much sinning goes on in a church than in a bar, no? {oh, man, someone’s going to get offended at that one}

It’s interesting, though. I am “in the world, but not of the world,” but sometimes I feel more judged in Christian circles than secular. I’ve been criticized for whom I am willing to love, and my mere presence with “sinners” (so called by the supposedly “holy”) is a subject of indignation.

I was asking God about this one day, as I’m always checking that I am where He wants me to be. I thought of the Scripture from James:

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” ‘

I asked God, “Is this what you meant by being a ‘friend of sinners’?” Loving people who are different from me?

As soon as the question left my lips, the answer came, and it’s not what I expected. It hit my prideful heart like a ton of bricks. He said, “NO. You are the sinner, I am the friend.”

I was so humbled I cried right there. I’m no different than anyone else in my need for a Savior. I am a believer. I am not perfect. I will mess up, but I will repent and God will use it for His glory.

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About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)

Comments

  1. Jen @ One Moms World says:

    Sarah… this is what I love about you. You are "real". You don't act no different depending on who you are in front of.

    You said: "It's interesting, though. I am "in the world, but not of the world," but sometimes I feel more judged in Christian circles than secular."

    I feel the exact same way! I just have to remember, I only have to worry about one person judging me and that is the Lord Jesus Christ when I meet him at those pearly gates. We are all sinners and all have fell short of the glory of God… but that is what is so great about being a Christian. The good Lord forgives us and helps guide us to keep moving forward on the right track.

    I love you Sarah and I love you for who you are. I would not want you to ever act no differently!!! Muaaah 🙂

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  2. Anonymous says:

    That was really beautiful, open and honest! Great post. I love to read blogs where people are not afraid to be themselves and speak from the heart!
    🙂 Robyn (youdreamidream)

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  3. Lori aka A Cowboy's Wife says:

    I often feel judged for not believing or not going to church or whatever…I'm slowly finding my faith and learning what I believe so I appreciate you sticking up for us "sinners". Like I said on twitter, it's people like you who'll help me find my way sooner;)

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  4. beautifully written…i love how you're using this blog.

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  5. justusseven says:

    Thanks for the inspiring post! We have very similar pasts and very similar feelings of gratitude and awe in what God has done for us. So many folks feel "unforgivable" due to their past…I think it's one of our enemy's favorite tricks – doubting God's love for us. So great that you fearlessly share your struggles and triumphs in Christ so that others can know they're not alone!

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  6. lovely post. we're part of a new generation of believers, rising up to dissolve those religious traditions/habits which do nothing but divide us and drive out those needing what we've found in God. one by one, in blog posts and tweets and over coffee or BBQ ribs we're talking and growing more confident to stand up and say "no more! Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy. let's be among the broken and be honest about ourselves. I will not stay hidden inside the safety of the church walls!"

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  7. What a "from the heart post". I appreciate your honesty.

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  8. Andrea @ MommySnacks.net says:

    Amen and Amen!!!!

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  9. Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect says:

    Sarah, thank you for sharing your heart. What a beautiful post and what a beautiful truth.

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  10. Great post, Sara! 🙂 I'm so proud of you.

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  11. VanderbiltWife says:

    Very nice, Sarah. So true. It baffles me when Christians are so judgmental of people with "worse sins" than theirs. A) I think we are forgetting that we all sin. B) I don't believe one sin is worse than another. C) Um, look at Jesus!

    I think it was wise to stay away from what might cause you to stumble, but we should never be isolating ourselves from sinners. We're all sinners. We need to help one another.

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  12. Okay you officially have me as a subscriber forever!! 🙂 I completely agree with every single thing you said!! This is exactly why I started to blog. I just wrote today about being a sinner and being normal but it's what is in your heart that keeps you where you need to be at all times! Amen!

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  13. Found you via your comment on Problogger's post about blog alliances. May I just say I LOVE this post? Beautiful. SO true too.

    Blessings,
    Angela <><

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  14. Sara I can totally relate to your post. I was once there also. And He also restored everything for me. Bless you for your courage and your honesty in sharing your post.

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  15. You are so inspiring! 🙂 I want to learn to share my faith and life like you do. I love how you've shared your heart here. 🙂

    I wish we could all (Christians and everyone) be real like this! I hate that Christians can make you feel like you have to put on a show or something. That's not "real" – we're people, and you're right, we're ALL SINNERS. Some of us are just fortunate enough to have found out about God's grace! 🙂

    That doesn't mean I don't want to hide in my house sometimes, though! lol

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  16. put very well sinner girl of mine!!
    love you
    judd

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  17. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says:

    Nice post Sarah – "Real" Life, "real" post! Yes, we are all sinners! Hugs to you my friend!

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  18. Janel@Dandelion Dayz says:

    Awesome post, Sarah! I was the party girl too – always looking in from the outside at the Christian world.

    It took some Christians that loved me where I was to show me why I would even want to follow Jesus.

    Had they not been hanging out with me, I might not have enjoyed the years of hope and peace that I have. I thank God every day that they believed enough in God to keep them on the right track and still hang out with the wild girl! They just loved me and in turn I saw God's love for me. I wanted what they had.

    Now that is faith in a big God!

    Never change. You are awesome!

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  19. I was going back through to find your post about Type-A Mom Con and saw this post Sarah.

    It's beautiful.

    Just wanted to let you know.

    Looking forward to seeing you next week!! 🙂 ((hug))

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  20. Just saw this from your tweet, and can I just say Amen. We have to focus on the love, what brings us together, not what separates us. Can’t wait to see you in less than TWO DAYS! Ack. must go pack.

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    Sarah
    Twitter: reallifesarah
    Reply:

    Thank you Amy! And I am SO excited to see you! Your smiling face always makes me smile!!

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Trackbacks

  1. […] He sees it, and He convicts us of our sin. But he doesn’t condemn, He offers hope. He is the friend of sinners, all the while challenging them to let Him change […]

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