I wrote this in response to a blog post where a reader commented that they found the Christian’s practice of telling people “they’re great and special and loved” unproductive and ridiculous.
If we just go and tell someone how “special and great they are,” then we have a problem.
The reality is that we’re born with these “marks” that Jon (writer of the original blog post) referenced. We look in the Law’s mirror and it tells us we’re failures and ugly and worthless. That reality makes the one-sided message of, “You’re okay, in fact, you’re special and awesome,” a problematic one. Who do we believe? If you’re one type of person, your ego will automatically inflate; if you’re another type of person, you’ll feel like someone you thought cared about you is lying to you. If you’re the former, then you’re not looking at the Law’s mirror long enough. If you’re the latter, then you see how much you need mercy, but you feel like you don’t deserve it.
That’s where God comes in. To use figurative speech, Christ’s blood washes off the guilt (not the original sin, the actual sin). His forgiveness tells us that we are His, we can become whole and joyful again, we are alive.
As for the marks of original sin? Those are the moments when we look at our Christian brother and sister and think: “I am loved in spite of this. I’m not okay, you’re not okay . . . But that’s okay.”