Tonight, at my women’s meeting, one of my friends shared about how much it affects her when she remembers how she lived before she really started living out her faith. I’ve heard most of her testimony and the first thought that runs through my head is “That ain’t nothing.” It’s a big deal to her and she knows where the Lord has brought her, so it shames me that I so quickly discredit her experience because mine is supposedly better, because it’s more dramatic.
Which got me to thinking – what is it about human nature that has that tendency? When someone has a cute purse or new car, it’s not enough to just admire it and say “Wow, that’s really something!” Instead, we want one just like it. When someone gets a haircut that makes them look really stunning, the first instinct is to feel insecure about our own hair and how we look drab and boring.
While it would be easy to blame this phenomenon on society’s tendency to define beauty (thin) or success (money) one way, I actually think it’s the reverse – society tends to do that because people do that. We are narrow-minded because our pride does not allow for multiple things to be equally as good. Whatever I have is good, whatever they have is not as good. By invalidating whatever you offer, I in turn validate myself. If I were to validate anything of yours, I would be invalidating mine – so the sinful logic goes.
But with God, all things are good because He created them all and everything He created is good. Look around – God loves variety. He decided to weiner dogs short little legs instead of longer ones that matched their bodies. Why? Because He could. Are they any less of a dog than a Golden Retriever? Ask any Daschund owner and they’ll tell you no.
The same goes with conversion testimonies. Is my friend’s testimony any less compelling and amazing because she didn’t do drugs and sleep around before dedicating her life to Christ? No. She’s still a sinner saved completely by grace – an amazing thing.
Is my testimony any less compelling and amazing because hers is too? No. Mine is different and perhaps more dramatic according to the world’s standards but God sees the same jaw-dropping transformation in my life as He does in my friend’s.
Good things can co-exist. Two or more things can be equally as good as one another at the same time. This may sound trite or obvious but think about it. Think about how many people in this world live believing this is true. Think about how many Christians in this world live like this is true. Think about whether or not you live like this is true. If you really lived like it were true, jealousy, pride and selfishness would be eradicated from your life. You would feel no need to validate what you have or are because you recognize that, in Christ, everything you have and are is already validated and is equally as good as what anyone else has and is.
Especially as a Christian, what we have is Christ Himself! It doesn’t GET any better than that!
But alas, we will never be rid of this sin until heaven because this is exactly the character flaw that Satan tempted Eve with in the Garden of Eden – suggesting that God had something better than she did – knowledge. With that sin was born discontentment – the idea that what I have isn’t good enough – and pride – defending what I have because I must be good enough.
That’s just one of the reasons why the gospel is amazing. It shows humans that we don’t have to prove how valuable we are…
Because Christ already did.