Towards the beginning of last week I was nonchalantly asked a question that came from the small group I am in. The question was: How strongly do you believe in the truth of the Gospel? I responded quickly with, Very. Conversation moved on and I didn’t give it another thought.
The question came back up recently. This time God was the questioner. I responded as I had before. Then he asked, Are you sure? I, quickly and thoughtless, answered with, Of course. There was a little moment of quiet. I was almost as if I could feel him sighing. Then he asked me to think about the question. What does it mean? What is the truth of the Gospel? After serious thought, my confidence in my original answer faded quickly.
Growing up in church it’s so easy to just rattle off all the answers. I know all the right things to say. But what are those “right” things? Are they just answers or are they based on my personal beliefs? The truth of the Gospel, is that I had a debt. A huge debt and there was no hope of my, or anyone else, ever being able to repay it. So, Jesus came to do just that. He paid my debt and there is nothing left for me to do, but to accept it. In accepting it I have been made perfect in him. Due to my continuing to live in a fallen and broken world, I still sin, but that does not take away from the fact that my debt is paid in full and in him I am perfect. I am his child. He is enough.
After answering that question, I stopped. These are not just flippant words to be thrown around as if they mean nothing. These are powerful and life-changing words.
Jesus paid my debt.
I am made perfect in him.
I am his child.
He is enough.
If one believes something, it only makes sense that they would then live out of that belief. How much do I actually live out of belief in each of those things? Do I live in the freedom and joy of what he has done for me? Or do I live in the judgement and fear of who I once was, but am no longer?
My heart was heavy and saddened by the reality of my answer. When we have been done a huge favor or even a little one, it is natural to want to show how much we appreciate what was done for us. In relationships, we strive to show people how much we care about or love them. My answer showed a lack of understanding and appreciation for what has been done for me. It showed a selfish focus on myself. Selflessness is talked much about by Christians. We are to be selfless to those around us and in our service to God. But what about a selflessness in our gratitude and love for who he is and who he has made us to be?
It is a beautiful thing to be his.