Everyday, our self looks for a verdict on us. Our self constantly asks the question – “Am I okay? Am I doing right? Do others accept me? Do others notice me? How can I ensure that others respect me; like me; promote me; recognize me?” The self’s search stays behind our most pressing thoughts. We’re thinking about getting going in the morning and all that the day holds. Yet beneath these pressing thoughts the self’s deeper questions direct our behavior.
So we look for affirmation from our spouse or significant other through the day. We may get dressed hoping that it contributes to our self’s need. We seek the approval of our peers at work or school or in the neighborhood. We scan social media for responses or messages. We hope our customers, employers, or colleagues somehow affirm what we do or present.
Some days, we get the affirmation, like, or confirmation. So our self is satisfied for awhile. Other days we don’t and our self clamors louder for more satisfaction or affirmation. Sometimes a critical event distracts our self from it’s self-centeredness; a long anticipated holiday; a baby; a health crisis; a very busy season at work. But in every day life those same deep questions keep popping up. It’s like we try to save our selves every day through effort and performance. Sometimes we perform well and get noticed. Sometimes our effort pays off and bears fruit. The self is never permanently satisfied. It always craves another verdict for the day ahead.
But there’s another way to live. With Christ in our lives, we already know the verdict. We can enter every day with no question about the verdict. The verdict from God through Christ is Not guilty; Forgiven; Loved; Affirmed; Protected; Secure; Justified; Free.
The letter to the Hebrews talks about this kind of life using the word “rest.” We can rest in what Christ has done on behalf of us. Hebrews 4:9-10 state “So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.”
This rest includes knowing that already pronounced the verdict over our lives because of what Christ did on the cross. So think about how that might affect your day. Instead of listening to your self seek that affirmation and approval from everyone else, you can start your day knowing you are loved and forgiven. We still have to battle at times when we some human disapproves us or mocks us or rejects us. It still can hurt. But it won’t hurt as much if we know and live in light of God’s verdict over us – Loved; Forgiven; Secure; Empowered. I pray you can live like this today and every day.
“Thank you Lord God for the verdict ‘Not guilty forever’ based on Jesus’ sacrifice. Help us first to accept this verdict for our lives. Then help us to not disrespect it by living however we want. Instead empower to live in a way that glorifies you and serves others while we experience Your Love and Wisdom over our lives.”