I’ve known a woman—a Christian woman—who was so convinced by the Christlikeness story. The Christlikeness propaganda. That she gave up. She gave up being a Christian altogether.
She was so far from being anything like Christ, she thought, that there was no point. No reason for continuing the charade.
She couldn’t live with herself, given that the objective of being Christian was being Christlike.
Given the Christlikeness instruction that her pastor had given her. Had given her frequently over a period of years.
She could at least eliminate the weekly reminder of what a despicable person she was by staying home. Sleeping in on a Sunday morning. She could at least end the hypocrisy. And so she did.
Another woman I know continues to go to church, but she has little joy. You’d think Christians of all people would be known for their joy, because there’s so much good news in the story of Jesus. In the presence and activity of the Holy Spirit.
But this second woman was taught at a young age by Christian parents and her Christian pastors that she was a sinner, deeply disappointing to God, and that the only way she could possibly redeem herself was to seek holiness. A holiness that is sinless and pure. That her way forward was and is to be like Jesus.
And she believes this is her only option. Her only way of understanding God and herself.
And she discovers sin in herself every day. And this is why, she says, she doesn’t have much joy.
Perhaps you know people like these.