I have heard this a thousand times or more since becoming a believer 18 years ago. It has only been in the last several years that I finally get what it means. I am one of those people who easily looks way more at how much I mess up then to the one who cleaned it all up. I look at my sin and become discouraged and overwhelmed with how far I need to go. I strive to be "better" which also drives me to performance. Redo the schedule.....rethink this........etc. Lately I have been realizing more and more that I find part of my value in how well I perform my life tasks. I measure my success by what is done at the end of the day. Some days I am very successful according to this scale and other days.....well not so much. I am striving to be perfect. Working to be perfect is such an affront to the gospel......such an insult to the one who paid for my life with his. Wanting to "be" perfect is a form of self worship and it has lived in me undetected for along time.
This all starting running through my head yesterday on the treadmill. By God's grace I caught myself running through all the things I have NOT done well lately. I am whining a bit to God. Asking for strength and blah blah....when the Holy Spirit (cause it wasn't me) spoke to my heart "Look to the Cross". Yeh! Yeh! what ever! Blah....Blah....self worship.....blah....blah. Again I felt to "Look to the Cross"....marvel at Him who paid for all your sins. Call out truth about who you have become because of what He has done. Stop looking at yourself....look at mercy and grace that is new every morning. It was a sweet time. And I wasn't even alone. My kids were playing on the floor next to me. What grace and mercy for God to interrupt my little self worship session.
I don't have to be perfect because perfection has come. He has performed the perfect performance on my behalf. There is no greater then he......I can rest and know that my failures do not dictate where I am going, who loves me, how valuable I am. The cross is my measuring stick and it is sufficient. He even provides the faith to believe and trust! What a deal.
I also want to add that I do not believe schedules, being purposeful and working hard is wrong. The bible tells us to do all those things. Looking to the cross is our motivator in doing those things not looking good or feeling good about ourselves. We plan and work to glorify him not earn something. When I look to the right place my strength grows, my determination based on gratefulness increases.....I work hard for his glory not my own!
Now if I could only remember this 24/7!