The Only Savior that Saves
Here's real for you: Ever since Christ rescued me and gave me new life in Him, I have become painfully aware of other things in my life that I run to for rescue. Scripture calls them idols of the heart. Some have appropriately called them "functional saviors." When I have them, my little kingdom is good. When I don't, the temptation to sin becomes very evident in my life. You may resonate with this.
COMFORT This is a theme of North American Christianity and the mantra that we often sing with our lives. I want things to be comfortable in my life. I want everybody I love to be healthy and have what they need—routine, creature comforts, etc. No drama. No stress. But there is nothing comfortable about what we're going through right now.
CONTROL That's right, I like to be in control. I want to be able to fix things, take care of things, make sure things are done right, have things my way. However, from little things (like red lights) to big things (like Kaitlyn's recovery), I am reminded again and again that I am not in control.
PRODUCTIVITY Deep in my core, I gain a sense of self-worth, personal value, and even acceptance from others because of my productivity. I have this innate drive to perform, to showcase my responsibility, to earn the approval of others, and to feel good about myself because of how I can produce. I feel like all my productivity has been stripped from me these past two weeks. Allowing other people to perform for me and to take care of the things that are my responsibility while not having the ability to produce myself is driving me into the ground. We live in a "what have you done for me lately" culture and that adds to the struggle with this idol.
I run to these functional saviors all too often, and when they are stripped away, I fight for them and wish I had them back. It's a sad reality of living in this broken world, and the fact that although I am "in Christ,” there remains part of me that is not yet fully redeemed. Sadly, even these blogs are in part a futile attempt to feel productive, to find value or worth, to feel accepted by others by their approval of what I have to say. Isn't that sad?
That's not the end of the story though. I'm not stuck here in this depravity. Repentance is a gift from God. It means that I see my sin the way that God does. I feel the weight of it. And by God’s grace, I have the will to take steps to be more and more free from it. It always comes back to believing the gospel.
Because Christ left all of the comforts of heaven for me, because Christ gave up control and submitted Himself to the Father's will for me, because Christ was productive for me, I can run to Him instead of these functional saviors for rescue. He did it perfectly when I couldn't. He got an A+ for me, and therefore, because I am in Christ, the Father sees me with Christ's perfection. Because I don't have to perform and I don't have to pretend, I can rest in Jesus and take my joy in Him. I can find hope in Jesus, even when I struggle with my idols of comfort, control, and productivity. I can find my value, my worth, and all of my acceptance in Him, not because of any improvement on my part, but because of His perfect righteousness in my behalf.
We are more sinful than we had ever imagined, but we are more loved than we had ever hoped!