Sometimes our lives feel like a series of report cards. Verdicts from family. Verdicts from friends. Verdicts from school. Verdicts from work. Verdicts from culture. Verdicts from ourselves.
‘Tries hard but doesn’t quite hit the mark’.
‘Excellent taste in box sets’.
‘Terrible at karaoke’.
‘Well-meaning but disorganised.’
‘Intense. Compassionate. Empathetic.Weak.Sensitive. Creative. Hardworking. Determined.Complicated.Friendly. Boring. Needy. Draining. Struggling. Fat. Self-conscious. Good at wearing masks. Troubled. Fun. Outgoing. Uncomplicated. Too serious. Smart. Stupid. Mean. Generous.’
‘On a good day, a loving sister and a good friend. On a bad day, useless, worthless and waste of space’.
It’s hard carrying around all of these verdicts. Trying to make sense of them. Trying to sort them through.
So what does God think? Does He grade us? And if so, what’s on His report card?
Growing up I reckoned that God graded us on whether or not we lived for His glory and on how much we loved Him.
These are good things. Important. But if I’m being graded on them, I’m in trouble.
A lot of the time I don’t live for God’s glory and I don’t love Him.
So what happens at those times? Does my mark drop from a B- to E? And at what stage do I go from a pass to a fail?
NO NO NO NO NO.
God does not grade us on anything we do.
He looks at us and sees His Son. He says:
‘Spotless. Worthy. Unimprovable. Loved.’
‘Perfect. Righteous. Forgiven. Precious’.
He tears up the other cards and He says:
‘Forget these. I love you. I have made you beautiful. Forget your striving and forget your doing. Come sit with me. And let’s talk’.