by Tullian Tchividjian
Whatever bad stuff you may have read or heard about me, whether it is true or false, this I can tell you for sure: I am way worse than anyone knows. In fact, I am certain that if all my sins (thoughts, words, and deeds) over the last four decades were broadcast universally, the only person who would still love me is Jesus (and sometimes in my darkest moments of doubt and despair, I have wondered whether even he would). As Charles Spurgeon once said, “If any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him. For you are worse than he thinks you to be.” This statement is painfully true.
The truth is, I selfishly wrecked my life and the lives of many others. The consequences of my sins are omnipresent. There isn’t a day that goes by when I am not reminded, in some way, of what I’ve done and the damage I’ve caused.
For example, I was in Barnes & Noble a while back, and I happened to pick up a book that was published a few years ago by a young author whom I’ve never met face-to-face. I remember him reaching out to me after he finished it to tell me he looked up to me and said my ministry had greatly impacted him. He told me it was his first book and said he’d be honored if I’d read it and write an endorsement. I agreed to do it. And here I was, only a few years later, staring at my name on the back cover of his book. I was overcome with grief. He asked me to write an endorsement because he thought it would help give his book credibility. And there it was, my name, sticking out like a discrediting blemish on his hard work. I felt sick. At that moment I was reminded of the far reaching effects of my sin and how so many people I’ve never even met were hurt by me.
You see, God gifted me with a family to care for, people to love, a high calling, a life-giving message, and a large platform to shout it from—and I blew it. I blew it all when I had every reason (and opportunity) not to. And I alone am to blame for this.
Therefore, you have every right to be angry with me, to not trust me, to click out of this site, to never listen to another word I say, to question my motives for saying anything, and to ignore me for the rest of your life. I won’t blame you one bit.
But here’s what I know: there are a lot of people out there just like me.
People who live with guilt and shame and regret and sadness because of what they have done or failed to do. People who would do anything to go back in time and make different choices but are presently plagued by the realization that they can’t. People who live in fear that they will never hope again. People who have lost everything and wonder whether they will ever experience joy and peace like they used to. People who battle suicidal thoughts because they’ll never outrun or outlive the consequences of their sinful decisions and the people they have hurt. People who endure the painful, inescapable void of broken relationships. People who struggle with believing that anybody (even God) could love them because they have done so many bad, destructive, and hurtful things.
If you’re still with me, I suspect that in some way this describes you. And if it does, then whatever I say on this website is for you. If you can identify with a status of ‘Sinner’ that is awful, and costly, and destructive of your life and the lives of others, then I invite you to “come along with me.”
Come with me to your deepest bottom, and together, there, let us find hope and comfort and love and forgiveness and grace and mercy. Because the bad news that we are all guilty is met with the best news that God loves, forgives, and heals the broken hearts of guilty people. After all, God’s office of grace IS at the end of our rope.
Therefore, I want all of us, together, to discover that we can still have hope amidst the ruins of our lives because Jesus plus nothing still equals everything.