Jesus is often described as “Redeemer” because of his ability to redeem us from our sin. This quality of Jesus inspires hope among us since it speaks to the willingness of Jesus to forgive our worst moments. If Jesus redeems, then we know that our failures can be overcome, that they won’t keep us from being reconciled to God. This truth about Jesus is consistently celebrated in Christian circles, and why not? But we should also emphasize the fact that following Jesus can keep us out of trouble too.
I was reminded of this when I recently read an article about legendary rocker Chrissie Hynde in The Week magazine. In that article, Hynde admits that she is not proud of how she’s lived her life. Here’s a portion of the interview:
The singer, 64, enjoyed the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll existence: topping the charts with the Pretenders, running wild with Sid Vicious and other punk rockers, and consuming pretty much every drug under the sun. So would she do it all again? “Definitely not,” she says. “I would get rid of a lot of the drugs and debauchery and alcohol, all the stuff that led to misery. That’s the one thing that’s different about my story. Everyone else says, ‘I don’t regret anything.’ You know what? I regret it all.”
We who are Christians know that Chrissie Hynde could find forgiveness and healing from her regrets in Jesus Christ, but we also know that following Jesus could have kept her from living a life she now regrets.
And this is what constantly baffles me about our society. Why do we, as a culture, glorify the kind of lifestyle that leads to misery and regret, as Hynde points out, and dismiss or vilify the kind of lifestyle that brings fulfillment and produces healthy relationships?
Yes, it’s true that Jesus Christ is there for us when we mess up, but it’s also true that Jesus Christ can keep us from messing up and making a mess of our lives.
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)