It doesn’t matter if I’m not beautiful now, because one day Jesus will clothe me in beauty as we “put on Christ” himself. I can be ugly for 70 years because I’ll be beautiful for eternity.
It doesn’t matter if I’m not successful now, because the weakest saints here have still been appointed by Jesus to reign with him as kings and queens eternally.
It doesn’t matter if someone doesn’t appreciate me now, because in Christ I have a Father who rejoices over me with love and dances over me with singing.
The Scandal of the Pride of Grace
Maybe even worse than the pride of face and place, Spurgeon said, is the ironic pride of grace—the pride that comes from having lived a moral or religious life and having avoided certain shameful sins or mistakes.
We feel a sense of pride because we’ve avoided the “really bad” things we see others fall into. The list changes from person to person, because our patterns of self-justification are uniquely tailored to us. So we pick and choose from whatever we haven’t struggled with:
- At least I’ve never been to prison.
- At least I didn’t have sex before I was married.
- At least I don’t have rebellious children.
- At least I’m not a bigot or a racist.
- At least I don’t lie or cheat to make more money.
We create our little list of rules, and then we feel a sense of distinction for keeping them. We imagine that we’re set apart from others who have fallen, simply because we are picking and choosing which sins God cares about.
Do we not understand the gospel? In Christ, there are no “good people” or “bad people,” “people who have it together” or “dysfunctional people.”
There are only bad, dead, sin-sick rebels, without God and without hope in this world, who God saves freely by a sheer act of grace—real grace, not the parody and scandal of moralistic “grace” we so easily construct.
Just because God in his grace kept us from some of the worst fruitions of our sin doesn’t mean we are made of something different than others who have gone down that route.
As Scottish Pastor Robert Murray McCheyne once said, “The seed of every sin is in every heart.” There is none righteous, no one who instinctively seeks after God.
If God in his grace has kept you back from the fruition of your depraved heart, that’s not something to boast about. It’s something to be grateful for because God saved you from yourself.
This article originally appeared here.