A small flame

A small flame

when you know you don't measure up

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the identity God has for you? Does his list of 'who you are' ever make you shrink back in an 'I'll never live up to that' sort of way?

'Cause I've got to confess that's exactly how I feel sometimes. At times it's comforting, that reminder of how God sees me as his child, but sometimes the words overwhelm me.

Especially on the hard days.

I forget that He is the one responsible for changing me, and each new expectation slaps a bit harder against me, like ocean waves splashing at a toddler, making me a bit more unsteady on my feet. Instead of feeling, as I'm sure my Abba intended, secure in His love and grateful for all He can make me, I feel hopeless to ever live up to this new identity, frightened that my unavoidable failure will change how He sees me. And, when I do fail, the condemnation choir is always lurking, always ready to burst into its chorus of defeat and guilt.

So I absolutely LOVE what Elyse Fitzpatrick writes in her book Because He Loves Me:

This new identity is unalterably ours right now, but we've got to grow into it. . . Part of this maturing process is the ability to identify and put to death the self-centered motives that formerly earmarked our lives. . .

The problem is that if we don't continually remind ourselves of how he has chosen, renamed, and remade us, the struggle to grow in Christian character will become nothing more than another attempt at self-improvement, and self-improvement always results in self-loathing or pride. Our Savior has declared that we are completely dependent on him and what he accomplished for us, but in overconfidence we hastily run past his accomplishments and seek rest in our own...

(The) basic denial of dependence is what ruins us. You see, the problem with attempting independently to construct our own identity is that the One who created us, who loves us and has the authority to name us, has already told us who we are, what we need, and where we're going. He has determined our individuality, our place of belonging, our purpose, and our permanence. He has answered our fallibility . . . Unwavering faithfulness is his distinctive, not ours.' {pp 55-56; 84}

Good stuff!

I am enthralled - and deeply comforted - by the thought that Christ determined my identity in Him in light of - not in spite of - my fallibility. His expectations of me are not unrealistic like so many of mine are. He loved me and named me in full knowledge of how weak and sinful I am. And, in His work on the cross, Christ has answered all of my inabilities to live up to who He says I am.

He does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

{from Psalm 103}

Here is rest!


No comments: