Thursday, September 20, 2012

This book is hard on my awesomeness.

Reading through grace for the Good Girl is not like taking a luxurious bubble bath in grace and having someone tell you how awesome you are.

It’s actually quite the opposite.
Are you finding this book hard? Challenging and frustrating? Are you arguing with it in your head a bit? Are you annoyed with the author and yourself and anxious to get to the part of the book that tells us all how to FIX this?

Here are a few things I have learned about myself so far:
I hide behind my performance. I want to be the need-meeter, not the needy one.
I hide behind my reputation. I want to look good and have people like me.
I hide behind my fake “fine.” I want to be strong in front of everyone at all times.
I hide behind my acts of service. I want to earn acceptance, love, approval. I don’t want a handout.

When I’m not how I wish I would be, I choose faking it over honesty. I choose hiding over allowing you to help me. I choose pride over reality.

This book reaffirms what I learn about myself from Scripture. I am not the “good girl” I would like to be. These things that I do that look so great- I often do them out of fear, guilt, or selfish ambition. Even my best works are tainted with selfishness. The author is tearing off our masks and helping us see the ugliness in our quest to be “good.”

And it’s painful.

I try to justify myself when this happens. I argue that it IS good to be strong, to serve and meet needs and look good and have people like you and work hard. I insist, it IS good for other people! And, of course, it can be. But that’s not why I do it. It’s just a nice side-effect, something that happens naturally to a good girl as she’s working hard to show the world her awesomeness.

And as for my hiding- I can justify that, too. I don’t want to be whiney! I don’t want to offend or cause conflict! I don’t want to get emotional, because honestly, I’m afraid you might get hurt. Or I might.

So I stay hidden, where it seems safe.
But it is not safe.
There is sin in the working and in the hiding, and suddenly I see that I am not safe.

And it gets worse, for the try-hard girl.

 She can handle a bad grade, as long as you give her the study guide so she can do better next time.
She can handle being told she’s wrong, if what comes next is the answer.
The list.
The Game Plan, so she can follow the Right Rules, and again make herself secure in her awesomeness.

But the author does not give us this, nor does Scripture.

Instead, we are invited to trust.
To look to Jesus, who kept the rulebook for us, and to accept His A+ as our own.
We are invited to love and be loved.
We are invited to live without a Game Plan, because by grace we have been saved.
We can let go of our awesomeness, and instead, trust in His.

This new life, the one under grace but not under law, is radically different. It is scary, and sometimes, we long for the false security of rules and Law. 

But there is no security there, dear sisters.

Security is to be found only in Him.

Righteousness in the presence of God must always be the gift of God, for only Christ can fully, perfectly, and most scrupulously satisfy the law of God.  
(Learn more about Law and Gospel- Read the full article here)

Do you cling too tightly to your own awesomeness?


  1. Oh. My. This book is on my to-read list. I think perhaps I should up its position.


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