As I was planning this devotion, I considered including some thoughts from a biography of George Whitefield I am reading with my kids.
But some of you are like me.
You just read that sentence and went, “A biography of George Whitefield? With her kids? She is, like, supermom, and I had better go buy a children’s biography of George Whitefield right now and start reading it to my kids. Or they are not going to be fully prepared for the future. They are not going to know everything there is to know about George Whitefield. Can you imagine? I am a terrible mother for not teaching them this stuff sooner.”
And then you are going to combine that with every other blog and Facebook post you’ve read this week, and you are going to feel completely inadequate for not helping your children create masterful works of art while listening to classical music, reciting the capitals of all the countries participating in the Olympics, and munching on organic, homemade granola bars.
Hopefully, those of you who have passed this stage of life are shaking your heads at us crazy moms of younger kids. But I’m betting you have your own share of things you wish you were doing better.
Your own share of guilt.
Want me to let you in on a little secret? I’m not supermom. I’m not even that great of a mom. (And yes, I could tell you stories that would silence all your thoughts to the contrary, but I will refrain, because, well, it’s the Internet, and I’m not ready to be that transparent.)
Suffice it to say I’m such a bad mom I deserve to spend eternity in hell.
I’m such a bad wife I deserve to spend eternity in hell.
I’m such a bad friend, daughter, sister, neighbor, citizen, and church member I deserve to spend eternity in hell.
You would think that would be obvious. After all, when I identify as a Christian, I am essentially shouting to the world: “Hey! Look at me! I’m such a terrible specimen of humanity that someone – God, actually – had to die just so I could stay alive.”
Instead I spend most of my time shouting, “No! Don’t look at me now! Don’t notice my faults. Look over here. See all the good things I’ve done? I’m not half bad, and everyone should admire me. Or at least not think poorly of me. Whatever you do, don’t judge me by the real me.”
But the real me is not righteous. The real me is not good. The real me has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3)
And the real me has been forgiven and declared righteous. “And this is not [my] own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that [I may not] boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9, ESV)
God created me to prove a point. That point has nothing to do with me being great at anything. It has everything to do with me being weak and Him being strong.
Oh, by the way, those thoughts from George Whitefield?
After nearly killing himself through weeks of fasting, prayer, and isolation in an attempt to earn grace, “George felt like a blind man who has just been healed and can suddenly see! On the cross, the Lord Jesus had done the work of saving him, and it was finished! […] George cried, ‘[…] all my good deeds and rule keeping didn’t save me, you did, Lord!’” (George Whitefield: The Voice that Woke the World by Lucille Travis, pp.32-33)
Jesus did it all.
So you don’t have to.
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Becky O'Dell (Tuesday, 06 February 2018 09:59)
Thank you for your transparency, Melissa. God used you to speak much needed encouragement into my life today.