“Why are we forgiven?
We are forgiven so that our guilt does not keep us away from God.
Why are we justified?
We are justified so that our condemnation does not keep us away from God.
Why are we given eternal life now?
We are given eternal life now so that we have the capacities for enjoying God to the fullest.” John Piper
Invigorated by the freshness of a new year, I found myself lost in thought: what could I do for God’s Kingdom this year? It took a moment or so for the irony to catch up to me.
What do I have to offer the One who can do anything, and, quite frankly, doesn’t need my help?
My fortunes are few — my sins many.
The Kingdom of God is a great mystery that runs counter to my natural inclinations.
To my proud self: it’s never about my contribution.
To my guilty self: it’s never about my retribution.
After receiving a gift, pride asks how much it cost, takes out a wallet, and reimburses the giver.
Yet, assuming that a gift is given with pure intentions, there’s an inherent quality that goes beyond the giver’s monetary investment that cannot be bought. In other words, “your money’s no good here.”
At the same time, guilt, upon being presented with a gift, believes it’s undeserved and quietly refuses.
However, a gift is not meant to be deserved. That would be a paycheck.
You can’t buy it. You can’t earn it. It’s free.
Refusing to accept due to pride or guilt is really two sides of the same coin. Go ahead and flip it. You may recognize the face.
Whether pride or guilt keeps us from knowing God is of no consequence. What matters is that we know Him. It never has been, nor will it ever be, about self.
After all, in desiring to get to know someone else better, you don’t invite yourself out to lunch. At least I hope not. That would be highly counterproductive. Likewise, it’s fruitless to be self-focused – on either failure or accomplishment – when trying to get to know God.
May I suggest that you put aside any preconceived notions and consider the possibility that it’s true? Consider that the reason (THE reason) we exist is to know and glorify God and enjoy him forever.
If it is true, wouldn’t you want to know?
“And those who diligently seek me will find me.”
Proverbs 8:17b NASB