Sunday Meditations: Being What You Are

One way to look at God and yourself is to see yourself as trying to be the sort of person that pleases God.

In this scenario, God has a legal standard that you have failed to meet, but now you are “saved,” and you can now commence trying to live up to the legal standard (by the power of the Spirit!).  God loves you, but He is most often vaguely displeased with you.  On occasion, you might do the right thing and make Him smile, but for the most part, He’s just sad about you.  You sin and it drives God away, then you repent and try to be good and He shows back up.

In this system, being a saint – a holy, righteous person in whom God is well pleased – is something to look forward to in the future.  It is something you are constantly working on yourself to become.

Another way to look at God and yourself is to see yourself as a person God is already pleased with who has already been made into a saint.

In this scenario, there is no longer a legal standard for you to meet.  God has already declared you righteous, and His disposition toward you does not fluctuate with your behavior.  He is always with you, always for you, and He does not hide His eyes from you when you sin.  There is nothing you can do to restore your relationship to God or regain His favor or invoke His pleasure because your relationship and His favor are inviolable and cannot depart from you.

In this model, we do not sin because we fall far short of who God wants us to be; we sin because we act inconsistently with who we truly are.  Sanctification is not achieving new levels of holiness, it is believing more fully and maturing more deeply into what God has made us and letting go of the old patterns and loves we used to depend on to get us through life.

You may say that you are a terrible Christian and a sinner who routinely grieves God.  God says that you are a new creation and adopted child and living Temple of the Spirit whose robes are washed white.  Thus saith the Lord.