“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:4-5 NIV)
I exhale audibly as this verse sinks into my mind, and I’m released momentarily from my perfectionist tendencies. I’m reminded that it’s not my striving, success, or failure that determines my worth. It’s only God, who loves me so much he provided a Savior to shoulder the weight of my sin, enabling me to be reconciled to God and receive eternal life. In the moments when I remember this truth, I’m able to jump off of society’s hamster wheel of productivity and accomplishment that is never satisfied and step into the peace, rest, and acceptance that’s always available if I’ll simply choose it.
A song that speaks deeply and intimately to my restless and sometimes anxiety-ridden heart is “In Christ Alone.” The words remind me that everything I need is found only and always in Christ. My favorite lyrics are, “What heights of love, what depths of peace, when fears are stilled, when strivings cease.” I know that more often than not, I’m either striving toward something positive—love, validation, acceptance, accolade—or away from undesirable things—failure, judgment, rejection, ridicule.
The Bible consistently reminds me that I’m loved and complete in Jesus. My striving is not necessary to count myself worthy of God’s love or to find peace. I already have those things. I can’t lose them, nor can I earn more of them. I have all I’ll ever need in an abundant supply. All I have to do is receive it.
God’s approval is implicit in my status as his child. There’s no way to earn something that’s freely given. My worth is found in God, who has purposed me to share the gospel and use the gifts he’s given me to bless others and show his love and mercy. God has filled me to the full with value, grace, and love. I can stop struggling with anxiety or worry that I won’t measure up or that I don’t have what it takes to succeed. I’m already a success. My heavenly Father is proud of me. There’s nothing to earn; it’s already mine.
Read the rest over at The Glorious Table.