I love this story about C.H. Spurgeon:
C.H. Spurgeon was greeting parishioners outside the Metropolitan Tabernacle after a certain Sunday worship service. He was accompanied by his elders and a throng of people came by to thank him for the service. However, as the crowd paraded by Spurgeon, an elderly lady approached him with a look of consternation on her face. “Mr. Spurgeon,” she sharply began, “you are the most arrogant, obnoxious, annoying man that I have ever heard of. And I wanted to be the one to tell you so.” The crowd grew somewhat quiet with embarrassment as the old woman stormed off in a huff. With all eyes on him, Spurgeon turned to the elder standing next to him and said, “Sheesss, she doesn’t know the half of it."
What C.H. Spurgeon understood was that (just like me) he was a screw up... but what he also knew was that God loved screw ups. Think about all the people God used in the Bible: Peter - a man who was told that the church would be built upon him, and he goes and denies Christ 3 times. David committed adultery and conspired to commit murder. And yet God said David was a man after His own heart. Jonah was instructed to go to Ninevah, but ran away instead. When he finally did do what God commanded, he did it with a bad attitude. And yet God used him to turn the hearts of hundreds of thousands of people back to Him. And hello.... Paul. Paul devoted his life to persecuting the church. And yet God used him to take the gospel to the gentiles and write the majority of the New Testament.
It is my prayer that when asked the question, “how are you doing spiritually?” that we would make it a little less about us, and a lot more about God’s grace.