I have always felt that if there was a standard, I should meet it. This belief has not served me well. I learned early on that adults are very inconsistent in setting and enforcing standards. Every adult expected something different, and even the personal standards of every adult could change based on their mood. Sometimes, things were a big deal, and sometimes they were not. For me, this has resulted in anxiety, frustration, and my least favorite emotion of all of them, guilt.

It is the worst. There are times when I am just sitting down watching TV, and one part of a recent conversation will come to mind, and BAM! I am spiraling. “Was I wrong? Did I hurt their feelings? Did I misunderstand them? Should I reach out to them to clear this up? Is this just my anxiety, and everything is actually fine?” It can be exhausting.

As humans, it’s hard enough feeling this way about humans and human relationships. Imagine if we thought this way about God, never really knowing where you stand with him. You want to please him, do the right thing, and meet the standard, but what if you offer the wrong sacrifice? What if you don’t offer enough sacrifices? What if you sinned and were unaware that you were sinning and then died before anyone told you, and you could not atone for those sins? How can anyone ever know that they are saved? That was the problem with the old system. That is precisely why Christ is a better sacrifice.

so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
— Hebrews 9:28

Christ was offered once for all time. Hallelujah! The peace that comes from knowing that my standing with God is not dependent on me and my ability to figure out the standard and then try to meet it perfectly is so freeing.

Today as you approach your prayer time, reflect on the marvelous grace God has shown us. How does that change the way you live today? If he had not intervened, do you think you would be able to keep up with the requirements needed to atone for your sin? Do you think you could receive salvation on your own? Then thank God that you don’t have to and praise him for the salvation he offers you freely through Christ.