Jesus, teach me not to be a perfectionist when it comes to my shortcomings.
Yes, help me to hate sin and to strive towards faithfulness, but not as if that will earn me favor from You.
For I already AM favored by You. Not just favored, but LOVED unconditionally.
And not in any way because I’ve been good or done anything worthy of being loved. Quite the opposite.
Your love is complete GRACE. An undeserved gift; not by works, so that I would not boast.
How could I fall for the lie that because I sin, Your love for me isn’t as complete as if I hadn’t sinned?
As long as I am in this frail, finite body on earth, I will face temptations and sin. I will think thoughts that aren’t right. I will say careless things. I will choose to fear about things and forget Your sovereignty. I will choose the option that is bad for me.
Despite these shortcomings, You LOVE me. You set me apart. You took ALL of my filthiness upon Yourself; received God’s wrath, the punishment I deserved. Even though I was unfaithful, You were faithful.
And by Your sacrifice, I am made new. My old self is no longer me. I am made holy, forgiven of all my past, present and future deeds.
You loved your bride so much that would give Your life for her. What love.
For so long I’ve been expecting the impossible from myself: perfection. Complete sinlessness; to be perfectly selfless, loving, compassionate, and to always think completely true, pristine thoughts. And then I’ve been discouraged whenever I fail to reach that standard.
Well, here’s the deal. You know my frame. You remember that I am dust.
If I were perfect, there would not have to be a sacrifice.
But You wanted me to be a part of the joy between You and the Father, so You received my sin and my punishment in order that I would be able to enjoy the presence of God.
Through You I can stand before God with confidence, spotless; not on my own strength, because of the work that You did.
My debts are covered. I have received the gift of Your perfection.
I can rest in the work that You did. Though I still do stupid things, You forgave them already. I can rest in Your grace; Your unchanging, abounding grace.
Your love for me – Your passionate, jealous, never-failing, unending, immeasurable love – has NOTHING to do with my works. It has everything to do with YOU.
And that You would love someone like me is AMAZING.