As Christians, we claim to believe we serve the God of all truth. I hinted at this in last night’s blog. (To which, I am writing this one early as I do work late tonight.) In fact, we also claim that the devil is the father of lies. However, it seems when it comes down to it, we are more prone to believe lies than truth. We believe that sin will bring us pleasure, for instance.
Now let’s tie this in with perfectionism. When we read Scripture, we read of a God of grace who has forgotten our sins. We read of a God who is faithful in his covenant with us. We read of a God who loves us so much that he sent his only Son to die for us. We read of a God who is preparing a place for us so that we might be with him.
Yet somehow, we think this God is watching us and remembering our flaws. He’s not. Where did we get this idea? Could it be that it’s the nature of grace? Grace seems too good to be true for any of us. Something in the human heart says “There must be a catch.” Imagine a wealthy man in your area you knew knocking on your door and saying he just wanted to give you a million dollars and then he’d be on his way. What would be your first thought? “What’s the catch?”
There are no strings attached with the gospel though. If anything, God is the one who wants to get us to Heaven more than we want to get ourselves there. It seems odd that we can think that everyone else could be making it and living the good Christian life, but when we examine ourselves, well we are so clearly falling short of the goal.
In fact, we are told frequently that we are worth more than many sparrows and it’s in fact the pleasure of God to give us the kingdom. (Luke 12:32) One of the most oft-repeated commands in Scripture is “Fear not.” It is one that if we could just obey that one command, how much our world would be transformed. To be blunt, all of us have an atheist/agnostic side inside of us.
Now what does this have to do with perfectionism? Have we considered how many times we’re slapping God in the face? The opening of Malachi has God saying to the people “I have loved you” and they ask “How have you loved us?” We’re stunned by what they say? Isn’t it obvious! Look at all he’s done! Now consider that this is also done before the cross!
Yet here we are after the cross and are we any better? Do we not sometimes look to God and say “How have you loved us?” If God says something about us in Scripture and we deny it, are we not telling God he is wrong in what he says? We don’t do this with just God of course in the perfectionistic mindset. We do it with everyone. We hear a compliment and then we think we have to explain it away somehow. The person is lying or kissing up or just doesn’t really know the whole story.
Could some good things about us be true?