There are days when I’m tempted to think:

“Look how far I’ve come!”

But then I stop myself because I realize, man, I’m more of a mess now than I was two years ago – I need Jesus now more than I ever did!

And not because I’m ‘sinning’ more (though I very well might be… I don’t exactly have a measuring stick for this). No, we’ve been conditioned to think that change is simply the act of crossing off sins. I don’t do this or that anymore, so I’m good… NOT.

We’ve come to believe that God’s primary focus is to get us to stop sinning. Really God’s primary focus is to change our hearts – and man, is mine a wreck! The Bible says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks – whatever is in your heart directs your words. And Paul tells us that our words in turn direct our actions. So by that understanding, I don’t covet because I am naturally a jealous person, I covet because there is a need in my heart that has not been met (or I think hasn’t been met). I don’t say things to hurt people because I’m a bad person, I hurt people because I’ve been hurt. I don’t continuously seek pleasure in the company of the opposite sex because I’m a harlot or any other derogatory word used for women who engage in sexual activity at their discretion (I am not here for slut shaming), I do it because my heart hasn’t yet found pleasure in its creator, and maybe even itself. God is not looking to just treat the symptoms of the disease – He is not the God who simply throws a bandage on a problem – because the symptoms will always come back unless you get down to the root cause. He wants to get deep in there and start fidgeting with your heart strings until He solves the problem and He can be certain the symptoms will never resurface.

And this open heart surgery isn’t a one-day revival event. You don’t suddenly get saved and find your heart healed and free from all malice and strife and pain and loneliness and defeat. No, it is a long, painstaking process that lasts a lifetime.

I was reminded today that I need Jesus today more than I ever did, way more than I did yesterday, not because I’m ‘sinning’ more (though I very well might be… I don’t exactly have a measuring stick for this), but because I’m so much more aware now of how much of a mess covered in pretty clothes and grace I am.