Worthy or not, here we come
Last updated 7/24/2008 at Noon
Worthiness. I don’t know about you, but geez, I struggle with this one. I know in the dark recesses of my narrow mind and hardened heart there is no way that I am worthy of God’s love. No way. Is this low self-esteem? No, I consider this true-esteem.
If we are honest (come on… really honest), none of us are worthy. But thank God (literally), as Richard Rohr points out, “Our relationship with God is not a worthiness game.” If it were, we might as well pull the plug right now.
Life is a balancing act between our personal darkness and lovely soul. The trick is to learn to walk in grace with both dichotomies. We need to constantly seek forgiveness while living in the knowledge that we are tenderly being covered with the umbrella of God’s tangible grace and love. If we don’t keep these two aspects in check we are likely to think too highly of ourselves or consider ourselves too lowly. Embracing either our light or dark side is dangerous business.
That’s why the Bible says in 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
Let’s face it: we all are capable of any and every kind of sin. This is where superiority can rob us of a much-needed humble attitude and exactly where the Pharisees and Sadducees really messed up. They made the presumption that they were superior to Jesus (not!) and their ego-based religious views were their downfall.
God says, “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit” (Isa 66:2). Can you imagine being esteemed by God? With David we must pray that God will show us where we are not pleasing in his eyes so that we can keep ourselves accountable for our actions and ask for forgiveness.
Pride was Satan’s downfall; this trap we must avoid. If we buy into pride, we may think we are better than someone else which is far from the truth. Only God is truly good and without sin.
The good news is that God resides deep within our soul where our innate goodness shines along side our fallen nature making us conversely and profoundly worthy. 2 Cor 12:9 lets us know, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Now, try not to get a big head, but this is what God says about us in scripture and what we are to embrace about our good side: We are his children (John 1:12), united with the Lord (1 Cor 6:17); bought with a price (1 Cor 6:19-20); saints set apart for God (Eph 1:1); salt and light of the earth (Matt 5:13-15), a citizen of Heaven (Phil 3:20); we cannot be separated from the love of God (Rom 8:28); established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Cor 1:21-22); chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16); invited to approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph 3:12); able to do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Phil 4:13); we are God’s temple (1 Cor 3:16); confident that the good works God has begun in us will be perfected (Phil 1:5); we are redeemed and forgiven (Cor 1:14); adopted as God’s own children (Eph 1:5).
God’s love, grace and forgiveness is truly why faith matters because we have a Redeemer who says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin” (2 Chron 7:14).