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.
No strings attached
To most people, Bridgett looked like the perfect representative of Christian faith.
But the ugly truth was that even though she extended herself well beyond sanity, she 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 handout, 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 sins and mistakes and understood that God extended his forgiveness to her.
In her head, she knew God forgives sins. She knew he wouldn’t make her pay for what she’d done.
Still, she just couldn’t believe her forgiveness was completely and absolutely free, unconditional, with no strings attached. That was just too good to be true. So she kept trying, with all her good works, to prove to him that she was worthy of being saved, that she had changed.
Nothing to prove
It was as though she stood in front of Jesus as he hung 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.”
How often are we guilty of feeling how Bridgett felt?
That if we pay forward the good deeds, then somehow the cosmic balance sheet will give us a credit?
That we need to pay back what was already paid in full?
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. And when she does say yes, she’s learning to discern the reason—so she does it out of love and gratitude rather than trying to pay off a debt.
Friend, you have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus.
Your debt—100% of it—is paid in full.
You do not have to earn it by doing good works, and you don’t have to pay it forward to pay back what was done for you.
Thank God that he has paid it all!
How are you breaking free from guilt and lies? I would love to pray for you! Leave me a comment below.
“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” —Romans 8:1
Lord God Almighty, you know me so well and love me as I am. Help me to really embrace and believe that truth. 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.