Hi, my name is Danny Beckett and I am a sinner, a hypocrite, a liar, and a miserable failure of a human being. I am not perfect. I am not beautiful. I am broken and sinful just as my fellow brothers and sisters, and I am traveling the road of continuous brokenness and revival. I have made mistakes, I have taken risks, I have hurt people and relationships, and yet I have a God that loves me and thinks I am beautiful. He loves me for who I am; broken and sinful. This is the only thing that will never change.
I think to often we as humans try to be God, or this almighty power to think that we are perfect and without sin. I heard a sermon one Sunday about a well known pastor that was preaching about all of his sins and how people were criticizing and judging him about what he had done. He ended the sermon by saying, “the only difference between all human beings and myself, their sins have not been found out yet.” How true is this? We all sin, some of us are more open about it, and some store it away in a very distant closet. Where do you store your sin, out in the open or in some distant closet?
Matthew 7:3 says, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
Have you ever just stopped to appreciate you are not the only sinner in the world? I challenge you to stop, look around and appreciate all of your fellow sinners. I promise, you can find peace in this simple exercise.
Last week my friend received an email from one of his students at an old church he was a youth pastor. The email was terrifying. You know those emails that make your heart stop? This was one of those emails. However, it was not the email that the kid sent, it was the reply that my friend sent that made the impact. It really makes you appreciate how real we as human beings can be. When he read the email, I thought to myself, together we stand, amongst each other, where true revival begins and ends.
What would happen if we were all more open, honest, and real about our sins? What would the world look like?
Thank you to my friend for standing up and opening his closet of sin. Also, a huge thanks for allowing me to share this email.
Below you will see the email sent to my friend and his response. Share your thoughts in the comments, we would love to discuss.
Email to my friend from young kid:
i’m having a manic low and i’ve been meaning to say some things to you for a while so tonight is probably the best time to spit it all out.
fuck you, man.
fuck you for ignoring me all the time.
fuck you for being a hypocrite.
fuck you for not actually loving me.
fuck you for not caring, for not responding, for not giving me two seconds out of your day for some sort of facebook message response.
i hate you. you preach about loving everyone the way your “god” loves everyone, and yet you can’t even start with the easy people, like me.
i looked up to you so much.
when i think about you, i cry. seriously. i haven’t seen you in i dont fucking know how long, but i can’t handle it.
you were something of a father to me, and you fucking bailed. and i hate you.
this is a randomly recurring situation that comes about every few months, and i think about it, and i think about telling you how i feel but i don’t.
i doubt you even opened this message.
i haven’t been this fucking dramatic and emotional in God knows how long.
i don’t really think I even care at this point, but I just wanted to say fuck you.
keep living your lie, and don’t respond to this message.
i’m really proud of myself for finally hitting the send key.
My friends reply:
I’m sitting in a hospital room at 1:30am. My wife and I just adopted a baby. I got up to feed him and heard my email go off. I tried going back to bed, but I couldn’t.
I’m a failure, dude. I think the thing I’m most sorry about with this whole situation is that apparently I’ve told you at one point or another, I was perfect. I’m a miserable failure. I’m never going to be perfect. I’m not the savior of the world. The problem with human beings is that they’re not “god.” Nor will they ever be. Reading your email is simply more proof that I have always been a failure and that I always will be a failure. I try my best, but I will never be perfect. And I think that’s why your email hurts to read.
I’m not sure what to do right now. I have feelings of knowing I could have done better with you. Yet sometimes I have feelings that I was so far away, which made me wonder how I could even help over something like email. You’ll probably think this is a lie, because apparently I’m a hypocrite, but your facebook message to me on March 14th, 2010, is the only message in my inbox that constantly reads “unread.” It’s not because I haven’t read it. In fact, I’ve probably read it 100 times. I’ve never forgotten about it, and it’s haunted me, in fact. It’s because I don’t know how to respond. I didn’t know what to say, so I put it off until I thought I could figure it out. It kills me that I never responded to you. I’ve sat down on multiple occasions to try to craft some sort of response, but always end up short.
I’m a horrible person. I’ll never be a good person. I admit that I’ve preached stuff I haven’t followed through with. I think we all have, haven’t we? We are all failures because we aren’t God. And I don’t think I ever want to be God. I would be horrible at being God. And thankfully I don’t have to be, do I? I believe that my God loves me as a horrible, miserable, failure of a human being, even when I do things that fail Him or fail people. And I believe that I will continue to be a horrible, miserable, failure of a human being long into my senior citizen years. And fortunately, my God will still loves me because He is a God of second and third and fourth and fifth and sixth and seventh and one millionth chances.
Dude, I’ve screwed up a lot in my life. I’ve looked at porn, fooled around with girls knowing I would dump them, screamed irrationally at people, been selfish, didn’t respond back to people’s facebook messages and a bunch of other horrible, horrible crap. Worse yet – I’ve done all of this stuff since I’ve been a “follower of Jesus.” I hope I never came across like I was perfect, or close to it. I’m a disgusting waste of a human being, which means all the more when I say that Jesus still loves me. He loves me. I know it because while a bunch of people have failed me, Jesus is still very present. I have failed Him time and time again as a “follower of Him”, yet He still finds ways to love me. And that’s why God makes a great God. He always finds a way in His heart to forgive – even when we’ve been the worst of hypocrites.
Which means I hope you will find a place in your heart to forgive me.
I’m sorry that you hate me.
I’m sorry I’ve failed you.
I’m sorry I’ve been a horrible example of being a follower of Jesus.
I’m sorry if I’m the cause of you hating Christianity.
I’m sorry if you don’t think this email is real.
I’m sorry if you think I’m lying typing this entire thing out.
I’m sorry if technology like facebook tried to replace a real friendship.
I’m sorry if I led you to believe I could fix all your problems and make myself sound like a bigger deal than I am.
I’m sorry your life has been filled with pain.
I’m sorry your life has been filled with so much death.
I’m sorry that even if you do forgive me, I will find another way to fail you again – simply because I’m human.
I’m sorry I’ve been a liar.
I’m sorry about never responding to the facebook message.
I’m sorry if you have trust issues because of me.
I’m sorry if this email isn’t what you wanted it to be.
My only hope is that someday you’ll find it in your heart to forgive me like my God does every day – even when I fail Him miserably. I am sorry. I really, really am. I never went into our friendship with the intentions of bailing on you, or hoping that you would someday hate me.
I hope that you forgive me.