In the book of Philippians in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul gives his personal biography of a totally miserable, religious past (miserable because anytime getting close to God is dependant on what we do and how we do it, it is a cumbersome load). In the spirit of chapter 3, verses 4 – 6, I hereby submit my own biographical history outlining the stupidity I once clung to (that is me in the photo – a Pharisee in the making! )- that somehow I was worth something to God, valuable to His kingdom because of my own good works and where I came from.The book of Jeanie’s stupidity 3:4-6:
I had lots of confidence in my value to the kingdom of God because I was born into a Christian home to a ministry family. My first full sentence was “I’m gonna go to church” and I was a church girl among church girls. I was a Christian of the Pentecostal persuasion (others had some of the truth, but we had more, thus the term “full-gospel”). All of my siblings and their families are in the ministry. Many aunts and uncles and cousins are in full-time ministry. Concerning the law and attempting to get God’s favor by my own self-suffiency, I could totally relate to Pharisees – working hard to keep it, and hoping for those heavenly brownie points because of it. Zealously striving for favor for my performance and being a “good girl,” I was devasted when the less-holy were blessed. I grew up to attend Bible College and marry a pastor. And then I set out to raise my own bunch of good, Christian kids.
I am so grateful for my godly heritage, the roots I have. I love the stories of how God made Himself real to both my mother and father, each from Godless homes, how He changed everything in them and through them. Many, many people are walking in the redemptive grace of God today because of the choice Ross & Norma Moslander made to follow Christ.
But oh, my goodness, I have to work at not allowing these things to become a snare to me and to others. I have to keep dragging my pride to the cross.
I am in awe of the person who did not have the salvation message and cross of Jesus Christ served up on a silver platter, and yet they live in the full joy of knowing Christ without any of the doctrinal, or religious baggage that can so easily beset us. People with a “past,” who come to Christ knowing how badly they needed a Savior and that they have no chance of impressing Him with their works or religious reputation just blow my mind. It reminds me of Christ’s teaching that “The first shall be last and the last shall be first.” We often judge a person’s qualifications to lead in the kingdom by where they came from, how they were raised, who they are related to. God’s criteria are different. It is all about the heart. God is looking at the heart!
But thank goodness, like Paul, I have been knocked off my religious high-horse (although I have the amazing ability to run it down and remount it at times, yikes!) and I can now see all that stuff for the rubbish it is. What I once thought were assets, I now see as liabilities. My passion is to know Christ and to somehow, finally – totally get over myself. What a relief.
Laying aside all human achievements in exchange for the free grace of God, Jeanie
NOTE TO SELF: “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.” Phil. 3.8 NKJV