Being the father of daughters means I watch a lot of cooking shows.
One of the things I have been reminded of recently, and I am sure this isn’t reserved for cooking show contestants, is how desperately people are working to justify themselves. It’s kind of sad to hear people say,”I have to win this show so that my children will know I have done something.” Or, “I came here to prove that I really am as good as everyone else.”
Those aren’t exact quotes obviously. I think the exact quotes are probably even more intense.
It reminds me of the privilege we have as believers, and this is not a small one, of not having to work at justifying ourselves any longer. Imagine the freedom of not having to prove yourself to others, of not having to be somebody, of not worrying whether other people think you matter. Though so many people claim to have this freedom, if you look closely at their lives, they are completely bound by other’s opinions. Even sometimes in that they have to do the opposite of what people want them to do, but it’s still other people’s judgments that control them, because they have to justify themselves. They have to show they are somebody.
As believers, we don’t.
We just don’t. Because we have already been justified. And how can I get more approved than I already am? Imagine, “God, I know you love me because of what Jesus did, but look, I have a big church too?” It’s crazy. Being pre-approved on the basis of the work of Christ doesn’t mean I suddenly want to work less, but it does free me up to do the kind of work that really matters, not just the kind that causes others to think I do.