“Cheer Up, You Are Worse Than You Think.”
When I was a member of the evangelical, conservative, theologically sound PCA (Presbyterian Church of America), I was influenced, as the entire denomination was, by the teaching of Dr. Jack Miller, especially on the doctrine of Sonship. His son Paul was a friend of ours, and went through the 16 week course one on one with me and Roy, so that it did begin to change our thinking, and our understanding of the Father heart of God.
One of Jack’s favourite sayings when anyone got too mournful, or too defensive about their sin was, “Cheer up, you are worse than you think,” a comment accompanied by loud, uproarious laughter. If you asked him what that meant, he simply laughed, just as heartily and uproariously (a most irritating response for someone as essentially serious-minded as I am).
I haven’t figured out this aphorism. The consensus is that there is far, far, far more room for the grace and mercy of God to transform you than you can ever guess. Your sin is worse than you can guess, and so there is more room for the Redeemer to redeem you than you can ever guess.
There was a related saying I heard in the PCA. When someone did something which made them look bad, or looked bad without, in fact, doing what they were accused of, people would say, “Well, if people knew the worst about me, I would look a lot worse.”
That has comforted me so often, both when I have done something I am ashamed of and everyone knows, and when people think I have done something, and judge me for it, though, in fact, they are misjudging me. If they knew the worst things I have done, they would judge more far more harshly than they are correctly or incorrectly doing at present, I tell myself. And then I smile and shrug!
So cheer up. You are worse than even your enemies think you are. And cheer up, you are worse than you think you are. In far greater need for a redeemer to redeem your lost heart than you imagine. And cheer up, and thank God–there is a redeemer, and He is ready!!