The End of a Rope
It’s tempting to think that focusing much on God’s work in our growth and little on our own is simply a means of taking the easy way out. But turning to God and away from our own efforts isn’t a form of saying “I don’t wan’t to change.” It’s a way of saying “I can’t change, try as I might. I need help.” The goal is not to avoid transformation, but to live free of the lie that my own sinful self can bring it about.
It’s 2 Corinthians 7:10: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” There’s a way to be sorrowful for our sin that simply puts us back on the moral treadmill, always trying to do better. This will kill us. Then there’s Godly sorrow: the sorrow of realizing that our efforts on the treadmill aren’t getting us anywhere. They make us tired, sure, and maybe even better at running (on treadmills) but they don’t change us.
Jesus meets us at the end of our ropes, when we just don’t have it in us to be good anymore. If that sound too good to be true…just keep running. You’ll run out of rope soon enough, and you’d be amazed at what Jesus can do with that.