In Jer. 17:9, the Prophet declares:

The heart

is deceitful above all things

and beyond cure.

Who can understand it?

This verse paints a level of hopelessness at some level–especially if you think the goal of faith is perfection.

But there is another side. It acknowledges that there is a part of us that will never be “fixed” enough to make us perpetually holy. This side of eternity there continues to be a brokenness in us that is “deceitful and “beyond cure.”

Whether I like it or not there are times when I just am not a loving as I want to be, not as giving, easily jealous of others, a rememberer and renewer of grudges long forgiven, snarky and jackal-esque, grossly lustful, and deaf to the cry of those who have less privilege than me.

As much as I pray and fast and run to the community of faith to worship and receive Eucharist (practices I have been doing since I was 14 years old), I haven’t been able to erradicate these sins completely–it’s like they go into hiding and when they appear, they come on me like an armed man.

I hate it.

They make me feel shame.

But I refuse that. I am OK with guilt, which says: “Hey, you just a did ‘stupid’ right now and you will carry a bruise for a bit!”  That is crappy enough and requires faith to get to the place where you can once again “delight in his will and walk in his ways” when you would rather sulk and continue fleeing from God.

But shame–now that’s a different thing all together. It doesn’t say, “You made a mistake you need to own.” It says, “You ARE a mistake and it’s hopeless.”

Accept guilt for your sin; own it. But NEVER accept shame. It is a lie and it obviates the fact that you are a dream of God come true and screams that the Cross means nothing.

You and I can get better at being stupid = a) less frequent, and b) shorter in duration. But we are not going to avoid it all together because there is a part of us that will never be “fixed.” We will never hit perpetual holiness. This side of eternity, there WILL ALWAYS be a brokenness in us that is “deceitful and “beyond cure.”

You can cuss about it for a minute, then just accept it.

It is what it is.