Can you handle the truth?2
What does it mean to truly believe you live in a fallen world?
It means I am fallen. My body cannot do everything I want or need it to. It is continually breaking down on me and one day will die. My intelligence is not as sharp as I think. I often misinterpret events and people. My emotions do not respond appropriately. I like things that should offend me, I get angry when I should feel compassion, and I lack appropriate empathy. My will is broken. I do things I ought not do, and I fail to do things I ought to do. I am broken.
It means my loved ones are broken. Sometimes they intentionally do sinful things to me that hurt me badly. Other times they do thoughtless things that unintentionally hurt me even worse. They too misinterpret me, get their feelings hurt, or forget me all together. Loving someone who is fallen means I will definitely have my heart broken and probably crushed, if not by their betrayal, then by their death.
It means my institutions are fallen. Organizations I love dearly, like my school, my church, my social clubs or professions and even my nation are all broken and deeply flawed. Though I am tempted to be blindly loyal, institutions I love have hurt people terribly. They have exploited the weak and turned a blind eye to racism or even actively practiced it.
It means God is overwhelmingly patient and appallingly gracious. Every day I ask the question, “What are you waiting for God? When will you come make everything right?” He patiently answers, "Just a little while longer, not one second before every one of my sinful and broken children has found his way home."
It means I get angry with God. Why have you let me suffer like this?
He answers, “Because I love you, and a broken world is the only one you could have been born in.” Then he shows me his scars, and reminds me that this broken world has hurt him more than it has hurt me. So I trust him even when I don’t like him.
Finally, it means that once I have drunk deeply from his grace I can start being graceful to others. I can start assuming the best about their motives and intentions, while forgiving their actions. Because everyone I see reminds me of someone. They remind me of me.