Sunday, May 25, 2014

Can't Earn It

I struggle with the idea of my own worth. I often feel as I have to win people's approval and that the positive things I do have to outweigh the negative. It's a mindset that leads me to try to live up to the nice things people do for me. I feel as if I have to earn their respect and cooperation and if I don't then I am unworthy of this favor. It doesn't just relate to personal circumstances either. It spills over into my career where I falsely believe that I am measured solely by the latest message or most recent successful initiative. It's a trap of performance that negates the gift of grace.

I'm sure that I am not alone in this trap. Too many of us believe in the concept of grace and yet live as if we are defined solely by our works. It's a faulty understanding of God that causes us to believe that our entire life is a ledger filled with debits and credits. It's an error that has us believing that other people are staring at us and asking the question, "What have you done for me lately?" While that thought might be true of some people (who obviously don't fully understand grace either), the incredibly good news is that God doesn't treat us this way. An obedient, serving life reflects devotion to God, but it isn't necessary to gain His approval. His grace truly cannot be earned, but can only be humbly accepted. It's the freedom found in accepting it that I struggle so often to comprehend. Fortunately, as I grow to understand God's generously loving character I find it easier to grab on to what He offers.

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