We often believe the lie: I MUST MEET CERTAIN STANDARDS TO FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF. This kind of thinking leads to fear of failure, perfectionism, manipulation of others, and withdrawal from healthy risk. When people fall into this trap they exhibit pride, perfectionism, a critical spirit, self-condemnation and fear of failure. Those who think this way, cling to worldly success at all costs.
This is the second in a series of four articles dealing with the grace of God, based on Robert McGee’s book, The Search for Significance, (2003 Thomas Nelson). McGee, the founder of RAPHA, makes the bold proclamation, I am deeply loved, fully pleasing, totally forgiven, accepted, and complete in Christ.
What is God’s truth? I AM FULLY PLEASING AND TOTALLY FORGIVEN IN CHRIST. Consider the magnitude of this statement. All my sin and error—future, present and past—wiped away in His sight. I am pleasing whether I succeed or fail. This startling truth is backed by a lot of Scripture. Here’s a short Biblical painting of God’s grace:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith (Eph 2:8) And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. (Eph 2:9) …since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us (Rom 5:1) God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. (Eph 1:4) …there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1) For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. (Heb 8:2) Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him. (Rom 4:7-8) Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. (Phi 4:6-7) What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? (Rom 8:31-32)
What does this mean to a Christian? I will guard my thoughts. I will turn away from the lies and distortions of the world and focus on Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. My worth and value are a gift from God. My true worth and value are not determined by my own critical standards or the arbitrary standards of the world. I reject all negative thoughts about myself. I will practice the discipline of gratitude.
No matter how hard I try, I cannot earn God’s approval through performance or achievement—He graces me with worth and value as a free gift. He has chosen to overlook my faults. I am pleasing to Him the same way a small child is pleasing to its father. He loves me unconditionally. Now I am His. I am eager to please my Lord out of love and gratitude. I will surrender myself to Him. I am completely dependent upon Him. I no longer fear failure.
May the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit fill your heart and keep you focused on Jesus Christ all the days of your life.