With our eldest grandchild headed off to college next week, I felt compelled to dig out an article I wrote ten years ago. The truths still apply.
A On A Roll
Our granddaughter Kathryn misses her uncle Tim, who is away at college most of the time. During the first semester of her third grade year she sat down at the computer and typed him a note.
I miss you very very much.
Today was very nice because I got on the A on a roll.
How are you? How are Josh and Bryan?
I miss you all.
The A on a roll means that I got all A’s.
I like third grade a lot.
It is fun.
My first nine weeks have gon pretty well.
Today I got chased by Jordan.
Not a boy I like at all at all.
He gave me ten seconds to run anywhere I wanted on the field.
Boy did I beet him.
But he got me finally.
I forgot to tell you if he catches me he torchers me.
He realy can tickel.
I have to chalenge him tomorrow.
Well now you no about my life today.
Aren’t children wonderful? Life is so simple for them. Can you remember when your only concern was being chased by a boy? Or a girl? Or perhaps your worry was that you weren’t being chased. I don’t have to tell you that children are impressionable. How parents react to their child’s report card or test scores makes a lasting impression, as does the way a child is treated by peers. Many children grow up in a performance-based environment. They feel like they must work hard to please others. Often these feelings and behaviors are carried over into adulthood.
Does your present behavior reflect your “formative years?” Perhaps you were the class clown, because it gained you much-needed attention. It could be that you were the class klutz, with no athletic skill whatsoever. Maybe you share the sentiments that Janis Ian wrote about in “At Seventeen.” She sings of “those whose names were never called when choosing sides for basketball.” On the other hand, possibly you were the all-A student whom the teacher loved – the one who always raised her hand to give the answer. You might have grown up with a sibling who was the “golden-haired” child that could do no wrong, while you felt like the black sheep.
I’ve been reading The Message version of Acts. In chapter 10, after Peter realizes that the good news is for everyone, he exclaims, “It’s God’s own truth, nothing could be plainer: God plays no favorites!” (Acts 10:34) Now, in its original context, this meant that the gospel is for both the Jew and the non-Jew. But I believe that there’s another truth at work here, and that is that God doesn’t keep score of rights and wrongs. In other words, our standing with God has nothing to do with our performance, and everything to do with His grace.
Let me share these words from The Search for Significance, by Robert McGee.
The moment you trust Christ, many wonderful things happen to you:
All your sins are forgiven, past, present, and future (Colossians 2:13-14).
You become a child of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:15).
You are delivered from Satan’s domain and transferred into the kingdom of Christ (Colossians 1:13).
Christ comes to dwell within you (Colossians 1:27; Revelation 3:20).
You become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17).
You are declared righteous by God (2 Corinthians 5:21).
You enter into a love relationship with God (1 John 4:9-11).
You are accepted by God (Colossians 1:19-22).
Look at it this way. God wants us to stop trying to please Him and to start trusting the fact that, once you put your trust in Christ, you are already fully pleasing to God. If you’re a follower of Christ you’ve already received your gold medal and Jesus is the One who won it for you. You’re a winner in God’s eyes. So rejoice in the fact that you’re on the winner’s stand and you will never be anything less than a champion, simply through trusting Jesus. Grace is God’s work, and you can’t add anything to what He has already done for you.