My son has a terrible habit: he bites his nails. Not only is it gross, because he’s a four year old boy who picks his nose and plays with bugs, but he has bitten his nails so far down, he barely has any nails left! It’s so bad that sometimes he bites the skin and his nails down so far that the skin gets super tender. This always makes him sad, and sometimes he cries, because it’s painful. Yet he still can’t stop.
The fact that he bites his nails to the point of hurting himself is what causes me to constantly ask him to stop biting his nails. And to top it all off, I find myself biting my own nails from time to time. What? I know. So annoying. Reminds me of what Paul said in Romans 2:
…you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself? While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
— Romans 2:21–24
I know Paul wasn’t speaking about biting my nails here, but the truth is if I can’t even stand up to my own nail-biting standard, what makes me think I can muster up enough strength to uphold God’s standards on my own? No way could I do that. This, my friends, is what gets me so pumped about the way God administers love. He doesn’t administer love to those who earn it, he offers it to those who know they can’t earn it. Hallelujah for a merciful God!
Sometimes, however, we believe the lie that it would be better to have a God who judges us based on what we sacrifice for him and for the hours we spend serving his Church or people. We think we want God to use a scale for our salvation because we don’t think some people should have the same opportunity as us, being that they don’t really even try hard and they keep livin’ it up. Wrong. Our own conscience condemns us, so how much more would a perfect and holy God?
I think it would serve us all well to take a morning or two to reflect on our imperfections and brokenness. Not for condemnation, nor for suffering, but to make us all the more glad that we are not judged by our works, but by our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.
Give him thanks and praise today for his perfection!