Thursday, November 12, 2015

the lie of redeeming qualities

All throughout elementary school, junior high, and high school I was in talented and gifted programs. I was one of those kids who got straight A's, did extra projects "for fun," and spent holiday vacations reading.

Of course, I was also very involved at church: Sunday school ministry, youth ministry, worship ministry, family ministry.

As if being a know-it-all and do-it-all wasn't bad enough, I also thought I was pretty amazing. Not admittedly (because that'd be prideful, don'tyaknow), but deep down inside I was impressed with myself.

College started and I was one of the eight people who made the cut for the Honors program. Talk about an elite program. I was smart. I was good at learning.

And so even though I wasn't the prettiest girl, I'd tell myself, "But you're so bright, Sarah." Even though I felt left out of social circles pretty much my entire life, I'd say, "But you're so efficient, Sarah."

It came to be that for every insecurity and weakness I had, I found a redeeming quality to remedy it.

Soon I was (and still am--spiritual formation is no easy feat) consumed with how I was perceived, because if others didn't see me as put-together and well-off, there wouldn't be anything worth seeing.

It's taken me a while to get here, but I've finally come to that point where I've realized that I'm nothing amazing. I'm not that smart. I'm not that efficient (especially with two kids!). I'm not that good at learning. I'm just...o-kay. What a scary realization.

My mind's been on redeeming qualities, then, because if who I am isn't all that incredible, then who am I? What makes me valuable? important? loved? remembered?

The lie of redeeming qualities is that we have the ability to redeem ourselves through some trait wonderful enough to right even our most disgusting wrong.

We don't.

We don't.

After chewing on this thought long and hard, I've come up with enough courage to declare it, because I do believe it to be true and I want to speak the truth boldly:

An intimate relationship with Jesus is the only redeeming quality there is. For anyone. Ever.

Jesus alone has the one trait--perfect unity with God--wonderful enough to right the most disgusting wrong any one of us has committed.

We may not be good at feeding our kids veggies. We may have forgotten to buy the dog food...again. We may have screamed our lungs out at our kids who then told us they hated us and locked themselves in their rooms. We are far from perfect.

But we don't have to be.

We just have to love Jesus as much as we can, the best we know how, and thank Him that His love for us brings with it complete redemption for even the hardest of days.

with much love,