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A freeing truth: all have sinned.

Something I wrote a few years ago on Instagram:

During my family’s roughest years, I wished that for one day over the holidays, everyone could just get it together. Put away the hate, the hostility, the infighting, the pain. At least for the day, put on pleasantries and all the cheer and warmth that the holidays are advertised to be.

When things began to crack, I became bitter. “Seriously?! We can’t even keep it together on Thanksgiving?! On Christmas?! On (fill in the blank)?!”

But over the years, the most surprisingly freeing truth for me has been this: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

All. Every single person in my family. Including me.

And seeing my family as God sees us – sinful, broken people whose most desperate need is for a Savior– has helped put my expectations in their rightful place.

What we need isn’t a façade of togetherness on the holidays. What we need is a Savior who will deeply transform our hearts and deepest agendas. We need good news in a family that spews bad news and the heart-ripping, life-shattering effects of sin.

So I can’t angrily point to this person or that for “ruining” the holidays for us anymore. Sinful people will sin, no matter what day it is. And I’m not exempt from this. But when I suffer from the crushing effects of others’ sin, I can remember that no one has greater hatred for sin, nor greater love and compassion for sinners, than Jesus.

And He entered our world to rescue us from the power and penalty and pervasiveness of sin. For real.

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