Today I found myself wondering how much damage I have done in my life, spreading false gospels. Specifically, I was remembering something I believed to be true during my Freshman year of college.
As I am wont to do, I spoke as though I had more wisdom and authority than I did in reality. I remember sharing with my small group, all of us single gals, that we wouldn’t find love (or maybe I said love wouldn’t find us? It’s a distinct possibility.) until we were fully satisfied with only the love of Jesus.
It sounds innocent. Maybe even virtuous.
But it’s wrong.
I met my husband when I was 20, just a year or so after I said and believed those words. Was I all of a sudden fully satisfied with Jesus? No. Certainly not. I’m still not. My heart was and is a sinful, idol-making-factory. And yet I met, befriended, fell in love with, and married this amazing man.
God doesn’t wait for us to be ready, to be good enough, to be worthy of the good gifts He gives. He gives them in His timing. His good, perfect timing.
How many false gospels am I still believing, living, and spreading today? My closest audience is certainly my children, and I have no doubt they are watching. What might they be seeing?
- That their worth is found in their clean rooms, clean noses, clean clothes, or clean words?
- That it doesn’t matter the state of your heart, it’s your outward attitude, facial expressions, and tone of voice that matter?
- That being on time is more important that being well-cared for, well-prepared, and confident?
- That food makes us feel better?
Thanks be to God, that the true gospel is both so complex and so simple – that we are more sinful than we dare to imagine, yet more loved than we can even comprehend, at the same time. So while they have a front row seat to my failures and mistakes, my anger and frustration, my sinfulness and selfishness, they are also seeing displayed:
- That their parents repent, ask forgiveness, and name their own sin.
- That we cannot be stingy with our forgiveness, because we have been forgiven infinitely more.
- That they are loved, accepted, listened to, and respected.
- That the cycle of repentance and forgiveness never ends.
Thanks be to God, “who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”