The True Cost of Bad Jesus 1
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The True Cost of Bad Jesus

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When our oldest son John was about 4 he choked to the point of unconsciousness.

Truly, there is not a thing I can think of that is as terrifying as watching life leave your child.

I knew he was choking.

I knew his windpipe was obstructed.  I also knew that the desperate thrusts of the Heimlich weren’t working.

I did a mouth sweep and felt the object and out of desperation, against the training I knew safe, I shoved my hand in his mouth and grabbed and pulled the culprit from his throat screaming “Jesus! HELP ME PLEASE!!!”

Thankfully, this dislodged the obstruction and John gasped and immediately began to vomit.

As I sat shriveled and utterly broken on the floor with my baby, I wept out of terror and gratitude.

Slowly, the color returned to his cheeks and lips and he gained some resemblance of himself.

I asked him, “Are you okay baby?”

He nodded and said, “Yes mommy, but I hate Jesus… he trwied to kwill me.”

Indeed, John had choked on a crucifix, a one-inch long sterling silver relic from a little store in the basement of Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

I knew that Jesus had answered my plea.  But John-John only knew the terror of nearly choking to death on Jesus.

I can sympathize with thinking Jesus was trying to kill me.

For the better part of my Christian walk it has been me and bad Jesus.

The juju that I embraced about Him is much more obvious with the noose removed from around my neck.  The noose of condemnation, the yoke of shame, and the brutality of working to please and appease Him was draining the life from me.

And I believed that I was condemned for the most obvious of my struggles… the size of my butt.

Bad Jesus and my big butt were my focus.  Sin consciousness was the name of the game.  It was a full-time job.  If only, if only I could conquer this one thing then Jesus would approve of me and we would then be blessed.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Jesus is for me #believe ” quote=”Jesus is for me #believe “]

I piled on more rules and regulations to accommodate my struggle.  If I could only make the laws more pleasant, less detrimental maybe this time, I would succeed.

And when I would fail, which was always, I would look for some new quick fix in a desperate attempt to make Jesus approve of me and protect me from bad things.

Similar to my cries for my choking son, I cried out for freedom from the nightmare that was my Christian walk… walk?

Crawl?

Drowning incident?

Slow death?

“Jesus! HELP ME PLEASE!!!”

And His answer, “There is no BUT in SOZO.”

My butt was not the but that was separating me from my salvation.

Sozo is the Greek word for saved, to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction, to save a suffering one (from perishing), to make well, heal, restore to health to preserve one who is in danger of destruction.

John wasn’t kind of saved from a choking death.  He was saved.  If you were drowning and I threw you a life jacket you would still have to tread water.  If I pulled you from the water and delivered you to shore you would be saved.

The lie I believed about my salvation was that it got worse after I accepted Jesus as my Savior.  That I had to keep treading water to keep or earn the gift of the Cross.

And the atrocity is that I did this with everything.  Everything I counted against myself, I counted as Jesus condemning me.  Laws I was set apart from, do not taste, do not touch, do not… were not for me.




In the context of the Law, which is holy but for the Jews who had not yet met with the Savior of the World, I was being sucked under by my inability to “DO NOT.”

I bounced between legalistic and arrogant and flippant and pathetic.

Mean Jesus was confusing because I was mixing covenants.  Laws that were spoken to the people of Moses are no longer applicable to those under the Grace of Jesus Christ.

The smorgasbord of do this, don’t do that, try harder, conquer sin… are not for me.

Jesus is FOR ME.

He died so that I might live.

He came to bind up the broken hearted and bring peace beyond my understanding.

And while He assured me NOTHING could come between He and the love He has for me, I created rules, laws, and idols to keep myself in line.

Yes, Jesus… but….

Tears turned into dancing when I looked at the Word with fresh eyes: two covenants, one for me, one not for me. One that showed the desperate need for a Savior, the other the Glory of His sacrifice.

And a kind and loving Jesus filled up my heart just as He said He would.  Never to leave me or forsake me, He is for me.

He is for my children.

He is for my marriage.

He is for my health.

He is for my prosperity.

Nothing lost, nothing beyond repair.

Not a mean Jesus, a lifesaving Jesus – a Jesus with no if, ands or butts.

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

1 Corinthians 10:23 Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. 

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16 Comments

  1. This was awesome (tears). It’s so uncanny how much we as women have alike. Except I didn’t look at Jesus as bad. I don’t think I’d have ever thought my butt was so big JESUS wouldn’t like me till I was ridiculed right in Church, serving at the very front of the Church, as an Armor-bearer to my Pastor’s wife. A male Armor-bearer stood by me & asked, “what, are you eating all your husband’s cookies”? (Husband has a gift for baking delicious cookies). I couldn’t move Jami, I worked to keep silent & my tears from flowing till we were home. And as I cried all I could think was I could never serve again & embarrass GOD by my fat. That was 15 years ago. I became self-conscious, depressed, anxiety stricken, suffered panic attacks, fearful to leave home. We moved & those disorders were magnified by religious in-laws who ridiculed not only my weight, but my love for GOD. my clothes, makeup etc. I wasn’t defended by my husband(their son). And at present this shame before GOD & these symptoms have prevented me from attending church without panic, unable to serve in any capacity in church & struggle to venture out. I needed your words today (tears) and appreciate them. He was never bad Jesus, more like perpetually disappointed Jesus. I’m so thankful Jesus saved your son, and loves us regardless of our size. ❤️

    1. jami_amerine says:

      I am so sorry for this. I pray for your total freedom. Truly. Total freedom my love. J

  2. Regina Sullivan says:

    Exactly Jamie, I am learning this all over again. I thought I had grace and mercy and I do and I did and I was walking in freedom but through this study that we’re doing this with you guys I am learning the fresh that there are some deep wounds that I have that contribute to thing that I believe about myself affect the way I eat and the way I do. There is freedom in Him. He is my Saviour bevause I cannot save myself.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      LOVE!

  3. I too feel the pull to “pay Jesus back” for this heaven ticket. As much as we talk grace, we have no clue what it really means. This week I read in the Mirror Bible “God found us in Christ before He lost us in Adam.” There was never any separation because of our sin. Not even on the Cross. Read the rest of Psalm 22. If God could truly abandon himself on the cross, then my old fear was “when will he forsake me?” Learning the truth that I didn’t ask Him into my life, but He already invited me into His, has made all the difference. I simply turned toward the Truth and said “yes.”

    1. jami_amerine says:

      YES!

  4. Glenna McKelvie says:

    So good to be reminded how he sees us.

  5. Andrea says:

    Thank you for a beautiful word of encouragement. This was much needed. ❤

    1. jami_amerine says:

  6. Jessica says:

    Since I found you, your posts have made me laugh, they have made me cry, they have made me think … this series thus far … 4 days … into 28 … is tearing me up … thank you Jami … Thank you so much for pouring your heart out … you are making a huge difference in my heart!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      I am so glad it is blessing you. ❤

  7. Donna Flores says:

    This whole series is divinely timed and eloquently shared. Thank you for letting me into your life.
    I LOVE the fb live videos. I feel like I get to sit down with friends and chat. I need all the like-minded mom friends I can find.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Hey! It is so fun!!!

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