You know, the Gospel, Christianity, life, these are about loving people who are underserving. Man, did it not hit for me, though, until I found out through a series of events that made me realize I am really, really undeserving.
What I mean is that I am a sinner. It’s not that I’m inherently unworthy. I have made myself unworthy by wronging everybody. I wronged God, other people, myself.
The crazy thing is, I know that I am an unworthy person, and, yet, the people in the church have to love me. That’s the only way that Christianity could work. I have to know that other people know this fact, too. They see me and see a sinner, a person worthy of condemnation. Yet, they must make a conscious choice to embrace and love me as their own. That’s a part of what it means to be a Christian. You have to let yourself be received back into the family.
So Dave, forgive yourself as God and his people have forgiven you. Allow yourself to be a sinner received by grace. And go, do likewise for others.
Deservedness is no requirement for receiving people into the church family. Repentance is.