God’s kindness in our messiness

God’s kindness in our messiness

Our lives are messy and complicated. All of us are sinners in all kinds of ways, people who would rather run our own lives instead of doing what God wants. There are times when we feel this very strongly. Perhaps I am not good enough for God? Maybe God is interested in saving good people, and people like me aren’t up to standard?

When we feel this way, the Bible is full of comfort for us. We don’t need to reach a standard before God will show us grace. God is not like a schoolteacher who is waiting to mark us as good enough or not good enough. If that was the case, none of us would be friends with God, and all of us would be excluded and under God’s anger instead.

The book of 1 Kings illustrates this well for us in a few places.

In 1 Kings 3, we read of Solomon and his religious activities. He wasn’t pure and lawkeeping in all kinds of ways. He had made a marriage alliance with Egypt, something banned in the law, and was sacrificing at the high places of Gibeon instead of before the ark. You would expect God to ignore his prayer if he needed to read a standard. Instead, God appeared to him and granted his request, giving him wisdom and riches beyond measure! God showed Solomon grace. Even despite his flaws and sins, God was kind to him.

We see it again in 1 Kings 8. Solomon prays for the future people of God, that God will listen to them and forgive them when they come in repentance and faith. There is an assumption that they will sin and they will need forgiveness. God promises to be gracious to them instead of just acting in judgement.

This lines up with the New Testament, such as Romans 5, where we read that Christ died for sinners. Not perfect people, not people who reach a standard, but sinners. God knows we are sinners and did what was required to save us.

Next time you feel you are not good enough for God, you have it right. You are not. Neither am I. The wonderful truth of the gospel is that you don’t need to be, because Jesus is perfect in your place. You can trust the fact that because of Jesus, God loves you immensely.

Don’t hear this wrongly. This doesn’t mean you can go and live how you want, and God will still love you and forgive whatever you do. That takes Jesus for granted and doesn’t take into account how bad sin really is. No, strive to live in a way that pleases God. But when you fall short, remember the grace of God. It’s not all up to you. What a freeing thought!

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