One of my favorite comedians is Brian Regan. He is off the charts funny and his material is family friendly. Written excerpts don’t begin to do justice to his delivery of the material but here is just a bit of one routine.
Regan laments about how he often speaks without thinking and uses phrases incorrectly. Like the phrase “you too”.
I’m just trying to go through life without looking stupid. It’s not working out too well. Sometimes you’ll say the right thing but at the wrong time and feel stupid. Something like: “You, too!” I was getting out of a cab at the airport and the driver goes, “Hey…Have a nice flight!”
“You, too! You, too, you have a nice flight, too…in case you ever fly someday.” Don’t anybody look at me; I’m a moron. Don’t know when to say the “you, too” phrase. I can’t handle it. – Brian Regan
But the “you too” phrase can be a blessing when you realize that others are going through the same trials, struggles and temptations that you are experiencing. I remember sharing with another couple about my big time Christian author/blogger decision to react to something my wife said by becoming hidden and childish. I share this at the risk of disappointing my tens of readers but I became sullen and hid in my man cave for a couple of days before realizing my sin and asking forgiveness. The other couple was astonished. “You too? We thought only we had issues like that! We thought you guys were beyond that.” Apart from their incredible overestimation of my maturity the message was simple. We tend to think our sin issues are particularly heinous and disgusting to Jesus. C.S.Lewis had an observation on the “you too” phenomenon. “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
One of the most effective shame arrows in the quiver of the enemy is to stick the doubt in your heart that you are alone in your failure to trust God. Satan would love for believers to think they are the only ones experiencing fear, frustration and loneliness. That your sin is especially vile and that you are uniquely disappointing to God. That if you were a better Christian you wouldn’t be experiencing any of this. There is a reason that the enemy gets the unflattering title of the father of lies from Jesus.
He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8, NLT)
Satan would have you believe that you are unworthy of any relationship with the Father. But the truth is that is not who you are if you are a Christian. For too many years I believed the accusations. I am learning to look into the mirror and see a saint. That’s right. Many (maybe most) of Satan’s accusations about my struggles are true. But what I now see is a man who is a saint. I accept that truth by faith and not by my performance. I found twenty-nine references to the “saints” in Paul’s writings. I am pretty sure from the content of his writings that they were not always behaving like saints. They were saints because of their new identity and not by meticulously and perfectly following the law.
God sees those who trust Jesus as holy. No matter how many accusations are thrown at me God sees me as holy because of His Son. Amazing.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1, NLT)
That is my (and your) identity. Holy and without fault in His eyes. I will be accused again and probably sooner than later. But I am learning to simply say this to myself.
“That is not who I am anymore. I have a new identity. I am a saint who sometimes sins. I am holy because of Christ.”
And by the way, for my fellow followers of Christ, you too.