Life is hard, isn't it?
We have physical sickness and death. Financial problems. Depression. Anxiety. Marital conflict. Family conflict. Stressful jobs. Abuse. Car problems. Infertility. Singleness. (Yes, married people, this can be a trial. Don't dismiss it!) Addiction. Trouble in school. Conflict with friends. Loneliness. Rejection. Miscarriages. Chronic illnesses.
That doesn't even scratch the surface of the effects sin has had on the world and in our lives. We have people at New City who have experienced all of those though. Our world is broken. I am broken. So are you.
A very dear friend who discipled me throughout college was in town a few weekends ago, and she and her husband visited New City. Over lunch after church, I was sharing some discouraging circumstances that I was struggling with. I told her about our Four Questions and how those had helped me apply the gospel to those situations. She replied that when she is feeling that way, she asks herself, “What is the most important thing about me? Jesus loves me and died for my sins.”
That stuck with me and I've said it to myself often since then. I love the Four Questions and use them often. But I'll be honest with you. Sometimes, the chaos in my house is so overwhelming, my anxiety is so crippling, the feelings of depression and hopelessness are so heavy, that by myself, I cannot do the Questions. Or I have three little kids all making different demands, and in that moment, I just need a short, quick reminder.
What is the most important thing about me?
Not that I've lost my temper half a dozen times before lunchtime.
Not that I was short with my husband over something stupid last night.
Not that my house is a mess.
Not that I sometimes get too depressed to do anything but the bare minimum.
Not my failures, weaknesses and shortcomings.
The most important thing about me is that Jesus loves me and died for my sins.
Without that truth, the best we can hope for in life is to have fun, make a lot of money and avoid pain as much as possible. Good luck.
But WITH that truth, wow, it just changes things, doesn't it? When we understand that depth of love- that our perfect, blameless Jesus took our place, bore our sins, and cast them as far as the east is from the west, and our Father remembers them no longer- such hope.
So what's the most important thing about you?
Not your debilitating illness.
Not that failed test.
Not your paycheck.
Not that missed deadline at work.
Not your struggling or failed marriage, or your marital status in general.
Not your troubled child.
Not your addiction.
Not your ability to have kids.
Not your failures, weaknesses and shortcomings.
The most important thing about you is that Jesus loves you and died for your sins.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 ESV
Live there, in that truth. Set it in your heart and remind yourself often. That's where your value lies.