So…truth be told, I wrote this over a month ago — but wasn’t ready to post it. Why? Well…words are powerful and once we write them and post them — they are out there! My thoughts, my opinions, my viewpoints— out there for the world to misinterpret!! I am not a professional writer — I am not a theologian — I don’t have the exact correct way to say the things I am trying to say. I just know that I express my life lessons, my life challenges, my life experiences best through writing. So…I wrote. And now, before I post that writing — a Disclaimer — I, Jen Curry, believe in right & wrong, I believe that my actions can break God’s heart…even cause a chasm between Him and I…I care about people and I believe I have a responsibility not to be wreckless. So, let me just say that the heart of this blog is not about wreckless “not caring”…so, if you read it and that what you take away — then come back and re-read this disclaimer! I care about people, I am just done being more concerned about people’s opinions than I am about my Father’s opinion.
“It doesn’t matter if others approve of me. My task is to be true, not popular.” Luke 6:26
I’m good already.
For just about as long as Caleb has been able to talk with us, he has been teaching us lessons – sometimes simple lessons…sometimes lifechanging lessons. Caleb, of course, is completely oblivious to this – that is the beauty of being 5-for the most part
you have the freedom to live in complete oblivion.
From about age 3, whenever Caleb was told to “be good” or if he was enticed (AKA…bribed or threatened) with a reward for good behavior (Ex: “Caleb, if you are good you can have…”) his response was ALWAYS – “Mama, I’m good already!” CUTE?
Yes. Frustrating? Sometimes. TRUE? Not usually, but…then again, maybe it
Over the past year I have been deeply challenged to begin viewing myself, and as a result, living with the idea that in the eyes of God – “I’m good already.”
For some reason, I have lived most of my life thinking that I am not enough…not smart enough, not funny enough, not talented enough, not pretty enough, not appealing enough, not successful enough, not effective enough…not GOOD enough. For who?
GREAT question. Did I walk around repeating these things to myself? No. Did I realize I was believing these things about myself? No…not usually. That’s the scary thing about our core beliefs/internal messaging—more often than not we believe them without even realizing it. We believe these subconscious thoughts without knowing
why. We believe them blindly – they affect our everyday lives…the decisions we make, why we do what we do, why we say what we say, how we relate with those around us, how we interpret what others say to us. For better or worse, what we believe about ourselves—dictates just about everything we do in this life.
I am living proof that even a God-follower can read God’s Word, even kind of know what it says – but not internalize it so that it affects change in life. I am also living proof that at any point in life we are able to begin to understand that God’s Word has the power to RADICALLY affect life!!! It’s never too late.
“I’m good already.” Am I? Do I believe that? Is it even healthy to believe that? If I believe that in God’s eyes I am already good, won’t that make me lazy? Won’t
that keep me from striving to be a better person? Shouldn’t “good Christians” always strive to be better? If I am good already, won’t that prevent me from going after that elusive “spiritual growth” that all “good Christians” are supposed to be striving after?
If I am already good…doesn’t that mean that I have already arrived and can then just sit back and float through life?
These are the questions that I initially wrestled with as I was challenged with the idea that God’s view of me is that I am good already. For me, it seems to go against everything that I was ever taught about God’ view of his people – we aren’t
good enough! That’s why we need Him? Right? Even as I write that—there is something in my mind that says “YES! That’s right – I need God because I’m not Good Enough.”
AHHH!!! It is a mind bender even now and I am not truly sure that I can straighten out these thoughts on this virtual paper…but I will make a humble attempt!
I am listening to a song right now on my ipod and it is blaring into my ears “you stay the same through the ages, your love never changes…and when the oceans the rage, I don’t have to be afraid because I know that you love me.”
His love NEVER changes.
I am not sure that I used to know that God REALLY loved me – I mean
REALLY loved me for exactly who I am right now—today—no matter what I do—no
matter what I say— no matter what I do well, don’t do well, who I tick off, who I make happy, what I believe, what I don’t believe, what decision I make—or don’t make. God loves me…right now, today—just like he did yesterday. Just like he did before I realized that He did.
I can only speak from personal experience—but I am going to make a bold blanket statement. I have talked with enough people in my life—people who are going through great times and horrible times…so I think I can say this with confidence— Most
people—definitely me included, spend a lot of their life making decisions (big
decisions and little teeny tiny mindless daily decisions) based on what they
think other people are going to think about them…or what they think others want
them to do, or think they should do. We do this consciously…but probably more often unconsciously.
Then, to compound the problem, not only do we make decisions based on other people’s opinions…we take it a step further. We give those opinions the power to define us.
I have spent most of my life doing this…not even realizing that I was doing it…probably even consciously thinking that I wasn’t making decisions this way. But, you know
what? There was one piece missing to my conscious decision to not live my life based on what others were thinking about me. And that was this: “What does God think
My unchallenged assumption was that If I make “this decision” or “that decision” then that will please God—it’s the RIGHT decision to make—its the thing to do or the decision to make because that’s what God wants Christians to do. This decision will make Him happy—I mean it will “please” Him. (that’s a more Christian word, right?)
REALLY? Before 1 of the 5 people who might read this starts getting ticked off because I am alluding to an idea that there isn’t right and wrong—let me ease your mind.
That is not at all what I am alluding to. I know that there is Truth—there is Right and Wrong. I believe that. BUT…you know what? A super important and overlooked truth that I have been ignoring most of my life is this: Aside from Right and Wrong — I am
Good in God’s eyes. I am good already. No matter what anyone thinks, no matter what decision I make, no matter what mistake I make, no matter what great things I do — or don’t do…God looks at me with love, with admiration, with passion for ME. Not for what I do, for what I accomplish, for my title—NONE OF THAT MATTERS TO HIM. TRULY…NONE OF THAT MATTERS TO HIM. He is into ME. Period…just because I exist. AND—despite what I may have thought in the past—He won’t be MORE into me if I do something really GREAT for Him or His Kingdom. I am good already.
He looks at you the same way…no matter what. NO MATTER WHAT.
Talk about Freedom.
When I started believing that—I mean BELIEVING it—internalizing it so
that it penetrated my mind and then my heart and then my soul—I began to
experience FREEDOM, and FREEDOM does a pretty cool thing— it sets you
FREE! Sounds obvious, I know. But in the words of my dad— “Knowing and
Doing are 2 different things.” True…and another true statement that has the power to CHANGE YOUR LIFE— Knowing and BELIEVING are 2 different things.
Believing CHANGES you. BELIEVING that I am good in the eyes of my Father—no matter what—no matter what the world around me thinks, no matter what the well-meaning Christian community thinks, no matter what my closest friends and family think, no matter what anyone could ever find out about my past or what people will think of me in the future…God’s opinion of me is that I am good and ultimately, His opinion of me is all that matters.
God’s view of me defines WHO I am as a person. I have been set free knowing that His opinion of me probably sounds a bit more like this: “Stop striving Jen, stop trying to please me…you are Good already” than this: “Do this for me, Jen, and I will be more pleased with you.” Believing that God is saying “Stop striving, its not about what you do…you are good already and I love you perfectly, unconditionally!” is powerful beyond words.
FREEDOM. It’s a lot easier to follow Jesus when you realize that He doesn’t think less of you if you aren’t following Him. He’s not mad at you if you aren’t following Him. It may break His heart, but…He doesn’t look at people who don’t know Him and say “You are Bad! You are worthless! You have no value!” He looks at them with unconditional goodness and love – the same way He looks at me.
“Jen…You are good! You are full of worth! You are valuable! AND, wow!!… I am so glad you are believing that now…rather than just saying you believe it!”
The idea of freedom is EVERYWHERE—scripture, songs, books. I see and hear it everywhere now—and for the first time in my life, I am getting it. God’s REAL opinion of me has set me completely FREE. I love being set free. Love it. Love, Love, Love it. Freedom brings Peace. Freedom brings relief. Freedom makes me happy.
There is nothing in this world that I can do…or not do…that will make God’s opinion of me change. He loves me perfectly…unconditionally…He loves me the same yesterday, today and forever.
THAT is mind blowing.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for me who is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
“I identified myself completely with Him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20-21