You’re not as good as anyone thinks

If any man thinks ill of you, do not be angry with him, for you are worse than he thinks you to be copyI care a lot what people think of me, which is why this quote by Spurgeon hit home so much. When you care what people think, much of your pride can get tied up in having a good reputation.

How often do we find ourselves annoyed, angry or even crushed when we discover that somebody thinks badly of us? It reflects a lot about how we view ourselves.

First, we are all prone to believe that we are, on balance, good people (and we defy anyone to suggest otherwise.)

Second, we value so much what others think that we work hard at portraying an image of ourselves that is even better than what we know ourselves to be.

We are quite happy for people to think more highly of us than they ought, but are indignant if they think less of us.

Spurgeon flings aside our flimsy façade and dashes our misplaced pride. Someone thinks badly of you? Don’t be angry, they’ve got it wrong. You’re actually far worse.

Don’t we forget that this is such a key aspect of the Gospel? Yes we have incredible value, but our standards for measuring our own ‘goodness,’ aren’t even close to the mark. In fact, we fall so far short of the actual standard that it is only by a phenomenal act of grace that we have attained any righteousness at all.

Truly we are not as good as we, or as anyone, thinks. But Jesus is far better, and, praise God, he’s got us covered.

 

 

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Don’t have Jesus as your backup plan

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Do you realize you don’t have to do anything good to get to heaven?

I’m so blessed to go to a church that is very focused on the Gospel. We are constantly reminded that we are saved by grace, not by works, and the more I am reminded of this, the more I realize I need to hear it.

Because the Gospel of Grace is completely counter intuitive

I was sitting in church last night while a friend preached from Hebrews 11 about the righteous being justified by faith. He reminded us that when we die and come before a Holy God, we will have nothing to commend ourselves other than our faith in the righteousness of Christ and his ability to cover our sin.

I found, in that moment, sin in my heart.

You see, I kind of treat Jesus like my back up plan.

I do good things to gain approval with God, and entrance to heaven, and when I fall far short (which I inevitably will), Jesus covers the rest.

WRONG

Jesus covers it all.

It’s hard for me to accept, and may take a lifetime to grasp, but Jesus isn’t filling the gaps where we’re lacking, he’s doing it all. He’s taking the dead (both spiritually and literally) and bringing them back to life.

When I stand before God, I will have nothing to recommend myself, just faith in the fact that Jesus will speak for me.

He’s no backup plan. He’s all or nothing.