Rejoicing in Jesus (Philippians 3)

“So on a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your walk with God this week?” one-to-ten

I used to hear this question a lot when I was in high school in the discipleship group I was in.

A ten might be a week where you read your Bible and prayed every day, you went to church on Sunday, you shared your faith with someone, and you had victory over sin.

A one would be where you did none of that. Typically, people in our group would fall somewhere between 3 and 7.

But looking back, I think it is a bad question.

Why?

I think it tends to make us feel like our acceptance by God is performance-based. And that question can get us into trouble in two ways.

If we’re doing “well,” it’s easy to fall into pride.

“Yes, I was a pretty good Christian this week. God must be really pleased with me. Oh, you didn’t read your Bible this week? You didn’t pray? Well, you better get with it.”

If on the other hand, we had a bad week, we either think, “I gotta do better! I will do better!” putting pressure on ourselves to “perform” as Christians (usually by picking ourselves up by our own bootstraps), or we get discouraged because no matter how hard we try, we never seem to get better.

But God is not constantly putting us on a scale and weighing our performance. He’s not saying, “Oh, you really messed up this week. You’re only a 3 this week.” Nor does he say, “Hey, you shared your faith this week! That’s a 10 for you!”

Instead, Jesus tells us, “I have chosen you, taken hold of you, and made you my own. You don’t need to strive to make yourself righteous in my sight. The righteousness you have is not something that comes from your own striving and efforts. You are righteous in the Father’s eyes because of what I have done for you on the cross. So forget the scales. Forget how you failed this week. I know you have sinned. But I have already paid the price for your failure. So get up and press forward.”

Why can we rejoice in Jesus? Because we are already righteous in God’s eyes through Jesus’ work. Because Jesus has already called us and made us his own. And because one day, we will transformed into his image, with all our sins and failures completely washed away, and filled with his glory.

So rejoice in Jesus, brothers and sisters. Understand the surpassing worth of knowing him as your Lord. Rejoice in his work on the cross. Rejoice that you are his. And stand firm, not in your own efforts to be righteous, but in him and his love for you.

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About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
This entry was posted in New Testament, Pauline epistles, Philippians and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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