I was struck by the following quote from Elizabeth Elliott while reading a blog post by Michael Kruger entitled,Â Is Anyone More Holy Than Anyone Else? The Missing Category of the ‘Righteous Man’:
“The ‘openness’ that is often praised among Christians as a sign of true humility may sometimes be an oblique effort to prove that there is no such thing as a saint after all, and that those who believe that it is possible in the twentieth century to live a holy life are only deceiving themselves. When we enjoy listening to some Christian confess his weaknesses and failures, we may be eager only to convince ourselves that we are not so bad after all.”
It is healthy to “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another” (James 5:16a), but we must remember the way the passage ends: “that you may be healed” (James 5:16b). The Gospel has actually freed us from slavery to sin, so that it is not that Christians are no longer capable of sinning, but that they no longer have to (Rom. 6). The goal of the Christian life is not to be more moral than your neighbor, as if our right standing with God depending on the good works of the believer; rather, the goal of the Christian life is to believe the Gospel, love the Gospel, rest in the Gospel and turn from sin, not to earn God’s acceptance by being better than the next guy, but simply because the believer loves God.