Walking our driveway a few weeks ago, honestly telling God how sorry I was for needing XYZ again. In my heart I heard, But that’s the reason I came.
And then it became more clear. Whereas I feel shame over asking for forgiveness for the 10th time that day, He’s smiling and saying, Yes, ask and ask and ask, forgiveness is what I delight to give you.
I heard a Tim Keller sermon a few months ago and I’ve revisited it many times. One line stands out among all the rest: “Make Jesus the way you prove yourself.” If there was an Olympics for heart-habits, I would probably be favored to win gold in the Earning, Self-Sufficient or Proving events.
I live to prove that I’m okay. Not okay in the ‘not melting down or choking back tears’ okay, but the ‘I’m good and strong and capable and confident’ okay. Okay in that I’m not failing or messy or too much or not enough. I live to prove it to myself, to others and to God.
Folding laundry recently, that Tim Keller line circles back. Make Jesus the way you prove yourself. Not the books you read. Not the stellar habits you have. Not the feelings you feel. Not the knowledge you hold. Not the good you do. Not the approval you gain.
And a question, why prove that you have to be okay when Jesus came for those that are not okay?
Jesus answered the Pharisees, “It is the sick who need a doctor, not those in good health. My purpose is to invite sinners to turn from their sins, not to spend my time with those who think themselves already good enough.” via
And Paul’s words, “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” via
Rankin Wilbourne writes, “When I base my Christian life on my Christian experience, I become locked in the labyrinth of my own performance. I am only as sure of God as my current emotions and obedience allow. My eyes are fixed on myself. The gospel, the good news, is the way the Holy Spirit turns our eyes away from ourselves and onto Christ. The gospel brings you into union with Christ. Christ enters your heart and gives you faith. By that faith, you receive Christ and all his fullness. Faith fixes your eyes on Christ and rests in him.”
Why prove you have to be okay all the time when you would experience more of God and His grace if you admit you aren’t okay on your own and admit your need of Him?