This kind of thinking can set you free! Free from the snare of the fear of man. Free from the paralyzing effects of ceaseless introspection. Free from the sinful craving for others’ approval. Free to enter the world as a servant of Christ and a steward of the mystery of the gospel.
God has given His Spirit to every believer. If you are in Christ, God’s Spirit is within you. Yes, you! He has specifically and uniquely gifted you so that others could benefit from the favor of God that rests upon you (1 Cor. 12:7).
This means that you can approach each day with joyful confidence and cheerful anticipation that, despite your sins and imperfections, God wants to use you to bless and serve others in this fallen world.
Yes, you are broken. Yes, you are flawed. Yes, you have sinned. But, in Christ, God has made you whole! He has declared you righteous! He has redeemed you from your sins! And he has entrusted you with the good news of his redeeming grace! It’s no longer about us. It’s all about Jesus (2 Cor. 4:7).
When we think like this, we’re set free from the need to try to impress anyone. We can freely admit that we don’t have it all together and that we’re not all that spectacular. Our lives are pretty ordinary and can be quite messy at times. We can be real, and we don’t have to worry about what others think because we don’t need to gain anything from them:
- In Christ, we’ve been adopted into God’s family, so we already have all the acceptance we will ever need
- In Christ, we have been approved by God, so we have all of the affirmation we will ever need.
- In Christ, we’ve been justified in the sight of God, so we have nothing to prove.
So, If you feel weak, just admit it. You are weak, but Christ is your strength. If you feel guilty, just agree with your conscience about the guilt of your sin, and then remind your conscious that your guilt has been paid for in Christ.
God is the only One whose opinion really matters in the end. He knows our frame. He remembers that we are from dust (Psalm 103:14). And he has sent his Son to be our substitute. To all in Christ, God does not count our sins against us (Rom. 4:7-8). Weak and sinful as you are, God desires to use you to bless others.
Our attitude can be the same as the Apostle Paul’s: Free from the need for human approval and affirmation. Free from constant, critical self-evaluation. Free to trust the verdict of God. Free to live in the good of the gospel of grace. Free to be a servant and a steward. Free to bless and not to impress.
“This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God” (1 Cor. 4:1-5).