flyingpapersOur vicar was talking this morning about school reports.  And it got me to thinking.

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’.

‘Easily discouraged’.

‘Excellent taste in box sets’.

‘Awkward, uncool’.

‘Terrible at karaoke’.

‘Well-meaning but disorganised.’


‘Talkative, over-excited’

‘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?


God does not grade us on anything we do.

He looks at us and sees His Son. He says:

‘Spotless. Worthy. Unimprovable. Loved.’

He says:

‘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’.



9 thoughts on “A*

  1. Emma this is so cool! I have been thinking along the same lines this week – that life just isn’t a set of report cards that you want to balance off against each other (Not that good-looking, but quite good at sport… etc)

    This is such good news!

  2. Reading that, I feel like someone’s just ripped away all my masks and facades, leaving me so very vulnerable. I wish I could live that way, but I don’t know how to have a relationship with God, I can never sustain one, and I wish he could look at me like that, but I know I am bad.

  3. Jess, I know you don’t feel it, but this is the truth: col 1:22: Christ has presented us to God, holy in God’s sight, without blemish and free from accusation.

    God looks at you and loves you. I know this because the Bible promises it. All of us are bad. None of us can live the way God wants us to. He loves us first and He guarantees our relationship: all we can do is cry out ‘help’ and He does it all. That’s why it’s such good news – it’snot about our doing, it’s about Him.

    Do you belong to a church – and if so, could you chat to your pastor about this relationship with God? That’s what church is for – to help us when we don’t know how to move ahead. x

  4. I don’t know whether I’ve ever accepted Jesus- I’ve been indirectly told that slipping as I am means I’ve never properly grasped the gospel, but I’ve tried so hard to do so. It seems to mean that he doesn’t see me as that verse says because I’ve never managed to do the Christian thing. I go to a church, I’ve chatted to a youth pastor but I can’t make things better.

  5. Hey Jess,

    None of us ever ‘properly grasp the gospel’ and we all slip all the time. Jesus has seen through our masks all our lives. He doesn’t wait until we clean ourselves up and become respectably Christian. He loves the sinful, shameful versions of us.

    “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

    Jesus didn’t die for ‘prettied up’ Jess but for the Jess who doesn’t even know how to be a Christian. Take God at His word and talk to an older, trusted Christian friend about this.

    God loves you Jess – praying for you,


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