What does God think of me?
As I write this, my own daughter is finishing sixth grade. In everything but looks, she reminds me of sixth-grade me—sports, school, spirituality. It’s uncanny. But remembering my inner struggle from that time of life causes me to pray that she understands two particular truths about herself, principles that every human must understand in order to find wholeness, healing, contentment, and joy:
We are not what we have done.
Whether good or bad, whether shame-inducing or pride-provoking, no action we have taken or deed that has been perpetrated upon us can imbue us with significance. Only God, our creator, can do that.
Consider Rahab. A well-known prostitute in Jericho, she apparently had been following the stories of this great mass of people wandering in the wilderness for a generation. She knew the stories: how God had rescued them through the Red Sea, how they had defeated powerful kings, and that they would soon overrun her city. She chose to join God’s chosen people, to repudiate her godless people and her sinful life, to make the jump from outsider to Yahweh-follower. “By faith Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given a friendly welcome to the spies” (Heb 11:31). God welcomed her into his people. She was rescued (see Joshua 2), married an Israelite warrior, birthed a boy who matured into a godly man (Boaz), and was named in the lineage of the Messiah. Generations of Israelites hear her name and consider her blessed, someone to emulate. Her shame no longer defined her.
Paul knew what we need to realize, that our value comes not from what we’ve done, good or bad. Rather . . .