Striving for perfection so you can get into God’s graces, are ya? Ok. Stupid idea. But I’ve been there. Let me show you why you’re headed for failure and what you can do instead. Let’s just say, you can take the easy way out – without even being penalized – like my son did when he washed my car last week.
I told my son that if he washed my car I’d pay him $20. He had to do outside and inside. Vacume, dust. Spit shine the tires. You know…the works. Well, he didn’t deliver. So, in my mind, I’m thinking, “Fine, he won’t get paid.” That will teach him!
But then my dad arrives on the scene. He starts washing the vehicle. I look out the window and see my 73 year old father out performing my son. Not gonna lie, I’m getting a little upset with my son for this. He could have done it by himself. Put in the labor. Got the money.
That’s fair, right?
But then I started thinking. That makes sense in the parenting world and yes, even in the business world.
You work, you get paid.
But that’s not how it works in the world of God’s grace.
So, for the purpose of teaching my son about God’s grace, I paid him. Yep…paid him for work he didn’t do. And gave him a $10 tip on top.
Why? To show him what God’s grace is like. God’s grace is Jesus, coming along side of us like my dad did for my son. Jesus shows up, does the work and gives us the paycheck (salvation and blessings).
We do nothing to deserve it. We don’t even have to lift a finger. We do less than my son did to wash the car. We do nada.
When you think about all you do trying to acheive perfection in exchange for salvation and blessings, it might look like this…
- You fast
- You tithe
- You help those in need
- You’re better than most people in your circle
So what does that get ya? Let’s see what Jesus would say… “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.” (Luke 18:14.)
That’s not exactly what you were going for, huh?
But what about the scripture that says… “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matt 5:8)? That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Makes you want to at least try to be perfect. But consider this…
For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly NOT enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:20)
If you know you’ve never acheived the status of a Pharisee… If you know you’ve NEVER been perfect, and you know you’ll never BE perfect, you need Jesus’ words of grace. You need to hear Him speak about an alternate route to his grace. Trading his perfectness for yours.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”. (Matthew 5:6)
What is righteousness? Christ. So, hunger for Christ and all he is (He’s perfection to the max!) and you’ll be righteous. And when you do, bonus… you’ll desire to behave better. Check this little gem of a scripture out:
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness. (Titus 2:11)
Lookie there! Grace teaches us to live right. So, hey, how about you and I just stop stessing by trying to be perfect. You know it’s not possible. The only option that makes sense is this:
Either you must be perfect, or represented by the one who is. Jesus.
So where does that leave us? Not perfect. But labled perfect because he is. Let Jesus wash your car. You’ll get paid anyway.