Do you ever feel like a bad mom (or dad)?
Last night I was struggling with guilt because I skipped my sixth grader’s Open House at school. I had wanted to go originally, but honestly was just exhausted. Then when the rain hit and I knew I would have to park who knows where, I just said forget it.
But why the guilt? Why couldn’t I just sit happily in my chair with my book, enjoying the rain and the freed up night for the whole family since now there was no football either?
Two things were going on in my head. One, I didn’t want my middle-child to feel neglected, like I didn’t care about his school and classes. He even told me with the crazy sideways pouring rain that I should just stay home. (And he might have also said that I’m not a very good driver in that kind of weather 😉 )
But the other thing and probably the main reason for my guilt… I didn’t want his teachers to view me as a negligent mom.
Again why? Why does this bother us so much? You know, worrying about what other people think!
This is where our church’s current sermon series expounding on the teaching in Galatians hits home. The Word of God jumping off the page and penetrating my heart.
In Galatians, Paul is comparing two ways of living. We either live by grace salvation (the only true gospel) or we live by achievement salvation. By achievement salvation Paul means we are not living by grace alone. We are adding something to it. Jesus + something else. Jesus + our own goodness. Jesus + our own achievements, striving, obedience, perfection.
This is not the gospel. This is works. This is self-righteousness. This is believing there is something I can do to earn God’s favor. To make God think more highly of me or to love me more.
This is saying His grace is not sufficient. That is perfect life of obedience and death on the cross did not accomplish it all. This leads to a life demanding perfect perpetual performance. Trying to be better. Seeking to look good to others. Not resting.
But the true gospel is freedom! The true gospel proclaims you are simultaneously sinful and justified. That you are a great sinner in need of a great Savior. That you are a DEEPLY LOVED FAILURE!
And guess what?
If you aren’t a failure you don’t need Jesus!
So why do we keep trying to act like we have it all together? Why do we wear the masks? Why do we worry so much about what other people think?
To give the impression that we are perfect is not living in line with the true gospel. It is bondage and is destructive to you and those around you. It is our default mode that the true gospel seeks to tear down so that we can be built up in Christ alone. So that we will find our identity in his perfect righteous life, not in our own striving.
Lord, I believe but help me in the daily moments with my unbelief. Help me to know your love for me is secure. That I do not have to perform. Help me to live according to this freedom that only your gospel grace gives.
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