Bridgett was on the brink of a breakdown because she could not say no to anyone. If someone needed a meal, she cooked it. If someone needed a ride, she drove them. If someone needed a place to stay, Bridgett housed them. If someone needed a babysitter, she was there with graham crackers and crayons.
To most people, Bridgett looked like the perfect representative of Christian faith.
But the ugly truth of it is that Bridgett didn’t want to say no to anyone. She knew the dark secrets in her past and she was sure that God was mad at her for the choices she’d made.
By providing a hand up or hand out, Bridgett was hands down trying to make up for what she’d done and pay back what was paid in full.
Even though she had confessed her mistakes, and understood that God extended his forgiveness to her, she continued to try to pay back what was already paid for.
Now, there is nothing wrong with doing good works, but God doesn’t want us to do try to earn our forgiveness. That we need only to accept it. (1 John1:9)
In her head, she knew God forgives sins, (Eph 1:7) she just couldn’t believe He wouldn’t make her pay for what she’d done. So, she kept trying to prove to him that she had changed with all her good works.
It’s as if she stood in front of Jesus on the cross, bloodied and dying to pay for her sins, and said, “Jesus, that isn’t quite enough to pay for what I did.”
You would never do that, right? Continue to pay forward the good deeds so that somehow the cosmic balance sheet would give you a credit? Continue to pay back what was already paid in full?
Most of the women I know have a secret that keeps us from living the life they we born to have. It’s not until we stick our nose in the Bible and let someone help us understand it, will we stop trying to do good to counteract our lousy choices, or look for approval from dangerous people or things, or get eaten alive by the guilt and shame that Jesus already paid for.
Bridgett is working on finally breaking free of the lies in her head that keep her stuck. She’s in a small group with mature Christian women. She’s learning to say yes to herself before she says yes to everyone else. She’s finally starting to believe that she is saved by grace, through faith in Jesus. Believing her debt is paid in full. That she doesn’t have to earn it by doing good works and that she doesn’t have to pay pay it forward to pay back what was done for her.
How about you? Do you know your debt is paid in full? If not, start 2019 in a Bible study or mentoring relationship. Get the support you need to reset your thinking.
Prayer: Lord God Almighty, you know us so well and love us as is. Thank you for your kindness, your patience and your unconditional love. Show me how to love myself and love you more so I can accept the gift of salvation and a fresh start. In Jesus Name amen.