For a while there, I *thought* I had it pretty good.
I’ve kept straight A’s, I guess I’m pretty smart. My friends call me a genius. (Trust me, I am not.) People tell me I’m talented, beautiful, and godly. I have a lot of friends, and I guess I can be pretty popular.
At least I turn in my assignments on time. I sit in the front row of every class and my teachers like me.
I read my Bible every day without fail, I teach Sunday school and youth group, and I’m on our youth group worship team.
So I’m pretty good, I thought. (Big mistake. Pride does come before a fall.) My life had become a checklist, and I was doing well. Or so I thought.
But God changed everything.
He said “no”.
“No, AJ, you can’t be good enough for me.”
“I’m not good enough? Just show me what to do!” I screamed.
And he said, “Do nothing, Amanda.”
And I cried “WHY?! You’ve blessed me with talent! With a brain! Aren’t I supposed to use it?!”
And he said to me, “You don’t need to be smart. You don’t need to be beautiful by the world’s standards. You don’t need to do all this for me, because my love for you does not depend on what you do. You are my child, and I love you. I sent Jesus to pay the price for your salvation. And I see HIM in you, not the things that you do. (See Colossians 2:10 “And you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.”)
“You are to do things for my glory, not for your benefit or to look good.
“Amanda, I love you anyway.”
He loves me anyway.
I’ve spent too many hours crying over feeling like I’m incomplete. But Jesus makes me complete. I’ve spent too many hours stressing over getting an A. But it’s not really that big of a deal. I’ve spent too many hours focused on me. And it’s not even about me. I’ve spent too many hours stubbornly worrying about my problems on my own…when I’m supposed to cast my cares on God because he cares for me. (See 1 Peter 5:7) What did I miss? Everything!
I’m not sure what I was trying to earn. Because I now realize that who I am in Christ has nothing to do with my performance.
And that was a relief to hear.
God doesn’t require us to be perfect. Perfection is impossible! He just requires us to abide in him.
And with his help, I can do that.