A few weeks ago the family and I watched the The Life of Pi. Without offering any spoilers, I will tell you that at the end of the movie the viewer is faced with a dilemma. There are two options; which is true?
I’ve thought about that very same dilemma in terms of my own life. There is the me that you see here on the blog, there is also the me at the podium teaching Bible study, the me at church, the me at basketball games, not to mention the me here at home. Sometimes they are different versions of me, or so it appears. Which is true? If I am honest, none adequately represent the whole of who I am.
Take me the blogger for instance. By virtue of the medium, what you see here on your computer or smart phone screen is what I allow you to see, a sliver of my real life and of the real me, however desirous I am of that sliver being expressed honestly and authentically.
Or take me the Bible teacher. Frankly, I am a little surprised that none of my friends who know me outside of our Tuesday morning study have pulled me aside for some sort of intervention. Away from the podium I am an introvert of introverts who often struggles with the smallest of small talk and yet for that hour on Tuesdays I can find such a wealth of words! Talk about dichotomy! Hypocritical? I hope not. A testimony to the sufficiency of the Lord to equip and empower, yes, please, Lord.
Years ago I was accused here on this blog of being a hypocrite. The (anonymous) commenter was someone who obviously knew me in real life and thus observed a dichotomy in my real and virtual lives and called me out on it. I was hurt, yes, and surprised, even more so, but in the end I could only agree. I am the hypocrite. I am not all that I should be nor all that I want to me and not even all that I sometimes purport myself to me.
And, really, who among us is?
Not only is there is seeming dichotomy between what you see and who I am, there is the disparity between the me who longs to be found faithful to my Savior who loves me so and the me who stumbles and falls and rebels and sins, over and over and over again.
Which is true?
In The Life of Pi there are two opposing options: one or the other must be true. Here is what is true about the life of Lisa: I am a sinner, a wretched, no good, rebellious hypocrite deserving of the worst of all punishments, eternity in hell. I am saved only by the grace and mercy of a sovereign and holy God who loved me and sent His Son Jesus to live a perfect life and die in my place. The only righteousness I have is His, secured for me through His death and resurrection. He saved me and I am His, this not of my own doing but a free gift by grace through faith. I am forgiven and I am free.
This is what is true about me. I freely admit that you will not find perfection or even consistency in me here on the screen nor in the stands at a soccer game. Like Paul in Romans 7, I wrestle with this disparity between the me that I am and the me I want to be. Like Paul I cry out, Who will set me free? My answer is the same as Paul’s: Jesus. Jesus will and Jesus does, glory to God. While my sins and hypocrisy may well be on full display, much to my shame, I nevertheless earnestly and sincerely hope my life reflects this truth: Jesus saves sinners, even me.