We can agree with what the gospel says about our sinfulness without becoming overwhelmed by guilt and shame. Further, we do not have to prove that we are victims rather than victimizers out of a desperate effort to persuade ourselves that we are righteous. We have Christ’s righteousness already. We can rest in this.
How many have suffered and still suffer because their hearts were not firm in their good inclinations, because they imprudently looked with impure eyes, because they heard with ears unaccustomed to discern between good and evil, because they tasted greedily! The senses of the sin-loving, greedy flesh, unrestrained by reason and by God's commandments, have drawn them into various worldly passions, have darkened their minds and hearts, deprived them of peace of heart, and taken away their free-will, making them the slaves of these senses. Thus you see how necessary it is to look, listen, taste, smell, and feel prudently; or, rather, how necessary it is to guard your heart so that through your outward senses, as through a window, no sin may steal in, and that the author himself of sin - the Devil - may not darken and wound that heavenly fledgling, our soul, with his poisonous and deathly arrows.
Some people just want to pay their bills, raise their children, and then retire. They know they can work hard, mind their own business, still accomplish these goals, and maybe even own a boat when they retire. I cannot think of a more selfish way to live than to spend one's life only to pay one's bills. You see, there is a whole world out there needing our help. The unwillingness to do one's best is un-Christian and nothing less than selfishness. Those who love others and want to please God know that money is important and do everything they can to succeed. They are truly the unselfish ones.
God rejoices. Not because the problems of the world have been solved, not because all human pain and suffering have come to an end, nor because thousands of people have been converted and are now praising him for his goodness. No, God rejoices because one of his children who was lost has been found.
We seek God afar off, in projects perhaps altogether unattainable, and we do not consider that we possess Him now in the midst of confusion, by the exercise of simple faith, provided we bear humbly and bravely the annoyances which come from others, and our own imperfections.
Nothing we can do will make the Father love us less; nothing we do can make Him love us more. He loves us unconditionally with an everlasting love. All He asks of us is that we respond to Him with the free will that He has given to us.
Life consists of cycles of remembering and forgetting, and I, like you, still forget far too often, every time I get anxious or feel like a victim. And in that forgetting, my view is clouded once more until I remember who I am and surrender who I am not.