|"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." Romans 8:1-2|
Last night I told my daughter that she needed to stop thinking about her day and just go to bed. It’s something that I have to tell myself often because there is a natural self-examination that happens at the end of the day that tries my faith and often leaves me feeling condemned.
I somehow find it necessary to look over the events of the day, tally up my sin vs. my success and therefore place myself in the category of "good enough" or "try harder tomorrow."
It’s my law bent heart that tells me that I must always be checking to see if I'm making the mark or not. And do you know what happens when I do this? I'm either left feeling like I can't go on or feeling proud and self-righteous, all depending on my performance that day.
You see, we all having a longing to approve of ourselves and when we forget the gospel our lives become all about our personal performance. The law tells us that we must perform but the gospel tells us to rest because it's been done. Jesus said it Himself, “It is finished!”
If we don't have Christ to pin down the pendulum of our hearts that swing between pride and despair we will go on trying to justify ourselves by what kind of day, hour or moment we’ve had.
Without the gospel we will live for others’ opinions of us. We will judge ourselves by whether we make people happy or not, whether we had all the right responses or if our hearts really wanted to be serving our neighbor.
Because of Christ's finished work for me I don’t have to go to bed and scheme about all the ways I need to try harder to do better the next day. I don't have to beat myself into obedience. I can rest knowing that Christ is the keeper of my soul and my heart is no longer in my hands to make pure.
He has come and perfectly loved, perfectly obeyed and was perfectly humble on my behalf because He knew that I would snap at my husband, join in the chaos of my fighting kids or blow the whole day off and go to the beach.
As I come to the end of my day I don't have to weigh the good against the bad and hope that I'm still in God's favor. Christ came and threw away the scale of the law to set me free.
I don’t have to live wondering if I'm accepted. I don't have to convince myself that I'm good. My actions certainly deserve the condemnation that my heart wants to live in. But because of the gospel I can agree with the accusations of the enemy that I’m not good enough. According to the law I will never do enough, be enough or even care enough but according to the gospel He IS enough on my behalf.
So I can be free to lay my head down at the end of the day. Free of condemnation, shame, or pride because God's love for me is not based on how hard I’ve tried today but rather on every perfect day that His Son lived for me. There was no condemnation for me when I woke up this morning and there will be no condemnation when I go to bed tonight. Now that’s freedom!