I’m Only Human… or Am I?

“I’m only human.” – Unknown

At least, that’s what I like to tell myself every now and then. I am only human. I employ those words to shield myself from correction and the rebukes of others, and often to justify my carelessness or poor stewardship. This is especially true when it comes to my words, they never quite seem to come out right. But then again, isn’t it James in the Bible who said that “We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” [3:2]?

I’m only human.

But I say this mostly when I know I’ve been stupid. When I’ve said something I know I shouldn’t have; or when I’ve said it in a way that was less than loving or considerate. I say those three words when I regret something I did in the past, something I cannot undo.

I’m only human.

I often say these words when I become vividly aware that I could have said or done it better, paid more attention, held my tongue, done deeper research, written it more carefully. I say it when I have not lived up to my own standard of reasonable excellence.

I’m only human.

I know that I am tainted by the sin of Adam, yet sometimes I forget this, and I put on an air of infallibility. I recall the Bible clearly saying that it is impossible to keep the whole law, down to the letter, but that hasn’t kept me from trying. I was aware that I was bound to mess up anyway, no matter how careful I tried to be, but that didn’t remove the guilty feeling when I finally did. I am not perfect. I cannot please everybody.

I’m only human.

My best intentions always seem to have a blind spot. Many are the times I’ve found myself trying to help the caterpillar out of its cocoon, only to lead it to an inevitable death. Never to fly as a butterfly. Many are the times I’ve shied away from helping a friend through his struggle, thinking that he was better off without my help, only to see him become worse. But what could I have done? I am not God.

I’m only human.

Sometimes I am too afraid to offend, that I end up concealing the truth. Other times I am too fired up with the truth, that I don’t care whom I offend in my attempt to publicize it. I know that neither extreme is better. But I just can’t seem to know any better in the heat of the moment.

I’m only human.

Balance isn’t something I have quite mastered. I woke up on the wrath side of my Bible today, and that’s all I ended up preaching to the world. I did not care to put a light at the end of this tunnel of one-sided truth. I left many of my hearers with only a fearful expectation of doom. That’s not what I set out to plant in the hearts of my hearers when I opened my mouth to speak, but…

I’m only human.

I woke up on the hope side of my Bible the next day, and that’s all I ended up preaching to the world. I preached unconditional promises, health, wealth and then some. I presented God as a forgiving fuzzy-feeling Father, with no inkling of wrath in Him. I left my hearers with false hope, and a God who could neither be feared nor revered. That wasn’t my intention, but…

I’m only human.

Yet, it is not just in the words I speak, this tussle, this human struggle. It is also in the life I live. Even when my speech is spot on, my life remains spotted. Oftentimes I find myself walking around feeling like a schizophrenic person. My double standard living divides my mind and heart like a sword. The words I say and the life I live are often as far apart as the East is from the West. The lessons I teach and the lessons I apply in my own life are often strangers to one another. I wish I could speak better, but my lifestyle is even worse than my speech. It seems easy to find the right balance of words to be able to say the truth in love. Yet, even then, my life continues to display a terrifying absence of the love in Truth. I struggle, I stumble, and often fail at loving others.

I guess I am only, human?

Human. What does this word even mean? Does it really mean what I think it means whenever I use it? Or is my faulty use of this word, further proof of the falleness that I attribute to it? What is it to be human? Genesis 1:27 tells us “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” To be human is to be made in the image of God, it is to reflect a perfect God, it is to live in the perfect will of God. To be human is to be without sin, unblemished. To be human is to be Christ like. It is to be good. Apart from the pre-fall Adam, there’s only one man who was fully and truly human on this planet.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” [John 1:14]

So am I being human when I fail, falter and fall into sin? No. Am I being human when I tell you to do as I say and not as I do? No. Am I being human when I’d rather worship myself than the only true God. No. I am not human, I am something less than human. I am inhuman. I am a tainted human. So, I guess “I am only human” is misplaced and misused by me. And just like I have been redeemed from the curse of sin. That statement also begs to be redeemed.

“I am only human” ought to be a statement of hope, not despair. It ought to be an affirmation of victory, not failure. Victory in the one who was fully and truly human – Jesus Christ. Victory in the one who embodies that perfection that we will never fully attain until we get to heaven – Jesus Christ. Victory in the one whose obedience is perfect, even when ours is tainted – Jesus Christ. In Christ, I am truly human. Outside of Christ, I am just inhuman.

I guess I can rest from the fear of being condemned by my constant failures, and I can hold on to the promise and assurance of Christ’s constant victories. And I can keep repenting, keep returning, keep rising, keep reforming, until I get home… where I will be truly human again.

Where I will be holy human.

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

[Romans 7:24 – 8:2]

Be encouraged dear saint, you’re only human. 🙂


For the fame of His name,


3 thoughts on “I’m Only Human… or Am I?

  1. Your posts (that I have read so far) are always different (much needed) and enriching; keep it up.

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