Posted by: bellissimanh | July 16, 2012


I clean my desk at work every Friday. I tell myself that I do it so when I come in Monday everything will be nice and fresh… kind of like starting the week with a clean slate. And I suppose that’s true…

But there’s another reason I do it. There’s a woman who comes to clean our office each weekend. I’ve never met Rita, but she left me a note once telling me that as far as she’s concerned, I was awarded the “Cleanest Desk” award. She thought I was totally organized and together (little does she know! LOL). So now on Fridays, I always make sure I straighten up before I leave. I tuck the stapler and calculator that usually live on my desk into a drawer. I restock my stationary and envelopes and put away all of my files. I guess in a way, I want to live up to the standard that was set the day she complimented me. I take pride in the fact that she considers my desk the cleanest in the office, and I want to make sure I live up to that standard.

I think we do the same thing with our spiritual life. We know this…

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves. It is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8

…yet we live as though the things we do can add to that. We don’t say it out loud (because hey… we know it’s not biblical), but we work and worry – acting as though our worth in Christ stems from our behavior.

Please don’t misunderstand and think I’m saying that obedience isn’t important. It is… it is a privilege and an honor to walk worthy of our calling (Eph. 4:1), and I want to live a life of obedience because I love my God. I would never desire to disappoint Him… but when I start taking pride in the things I do, and using them to gauge my position in Christ, I’ve got a problem.

John Piper got it right:

“Trying to work for God without worshipping God results in joyless legalism. Work minus worship magnifies your will power, not God’s worth. If you try to do things for God without delighting in God, you bring dishonor upon God. Serving God without savoring God is lifeless and unreal.” (emphasis mine)

Ouch. I think it’s time to start analyzing my motives. Before I do anything, I want to make sure that it’s flowing from a heart of gratitude for what my Savior has done for me… I want to know that my actions are spurred on my love, not a desire for recognition or reputation. I want to be absolutely sure that I never lose sight of the fact that when Jesus said, “It is finished”, He meant it.

How about you? Do you struggle with trying to be “good”? Do you find yourself stuck in pride from time to time, reflecting on your obedience as though it’s necessary to maintain your position in Christ?

Rest, dear one. If you have trusted Christ for salvation, it’s done. You are clean.


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