It must be difficult to live out the gospel of self-esteem, the “gospel” that insists I’m nothing short of awesome. It is, however, delightful to live out the gospel of Jesus Christ that insists that I’m not all that awesome and don’t need to be. Here’s a short quote from Adam Ramsey that explains.
The gospel means that I’m not all that awesome. But I am loved. And that’s awesome. The gospel frees me to be honest about the ways I fall short instead of being crushed by them, because it reminds me that Jesus was crushed for me. The gospel means I don’t have to hide, because the good news of what the holy and all-knowing Savior did on the cross is true for me too. The gospel means I don’t need to impress, because Christ has eternally secured for me the smile of my Maker. If that’s true, then let’s burn those useless fig leaves of our self-justifying excuses and lean wholly into the justification of God. As my friend Alex Early has written, “Jesus is not in love with some future version of you or what you used to be. He loves you right where you are, sitting in that chair.”
Do you hate your sin? Do you find yourself turning to Jesus again and again with cries of confession and desires for change? Then take heart, beloved struggler. You are undoubtedly a child of God. The fact that you are fighting sin is the evidence of spiritual life. Dead things don’t fight, only living things do. So press onward into the light of holiness.
God will not despise our honesty; he meets us in it with renewing tenderness; he rushes to us there and smothers our confessions with kisses of acceptance. We often think that honesty makes us poorer. But judging from the Father’s reaction to his prodigal son’s return, we could not be more wrong. He dignifies our repentance with the family ring, reminding us of our true identity. Honesty means exchanging the pig food of our sins for the banquet of God’s grace; the tattered clothes of our foolish decisions for the clean suit of Christ’s sinlessness; the cold loneliness of the mud, for the warm embrace of the Father. It is the way back home.
Drawn from Truth on Fire.