It’s Monday Grace!
One of the charges against believers is that we present ourselves as better than others. “Holier than thou.” No one like to be on the lesser side of a spiritual comparison. So, the performance system cultivates that attitude. It tells believers that they are better than the people of the world. It also tells some believers that they are better than others. Comparisons are part of the performance system.
I have written about the fear of exposure in the performance system. Believers who judge themselves and others based on behavior are afraid that people will learn the truth about them. They hide themselves behind good works and even lie to make themselves look better.
But under grace, we know the truth about ourselves. We know that our flesh is still active. We know that we still make foolish and self-serving decisions. We know that sin is still active in our flesh. It might not be pleasant for others to find out, it might even be embarrassing for us, but we cannot deny the truth.
At the same time, because my identity in Jesus is secure, I no longer am afraid of becoming lessened by the truth about my failures and compromises. As Paul said in Romans 8, nothing can separate me from the love of God in Jesus.
When I speak the truth about myself, about the struggles I have with the flesh, others can learn the truth about themselves. They can learn to be secure in their identity in Jesus. Those who are not believers can see that the only difference between us is Jesus. He gets the glory for whatever good is seen in my life. I yield to Him and have peace.
I no longer have to defend myself if someone points out my sin. I don’t have to lie or give an excuse. I can acknowledge my failures. There is great power in this and great freedom. I know that my life is inconsistent. My life in the Spirit is not the same as my life in the flesh, yet both are at work in me.
So, let me be even more honest. This is all true, but I don’t always remember or trust in this. Sometimes I do defend myself. Sometimes I cover my failures or even blame them on others. Even that is my flesh at work. Still, my relationship with Jesus is secure. Still I have nothing to fear.
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