Bad Credit Welcomed
Significance is a feeling of self worth, purpose derived from an external source. We find significance in our family, our work, in doing good toward others. But significance can be fleeting. What happens when you lose your job, or your marriage fails, or the people you try to help are unappreciative? Sometimes our significance can be illusive from day to day as our emotions take us on a roller coaster ride because of nothing at all.
It is particularly difficult for men who have prolonged unemployment. Whether God built it into us or culture has shaped our psyche, we will wander aimlessly if we don't find work that is fulfilling. I believe we have been created to do significant things, but our significance should never be anchored in the things that we do. Who we are is not defined by activity, pain, or circumstance. When Paul prayed for the Colossians to be strengthened in all power it was so that they would have hearts of thanksgiving and joy in the Father. No matter the circumstances our joy is secure because of what the Father has done for us and in us.
"Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins (Col. 1:12-14)."
Inevitably in a television show there will be a moment where someone is sad, hurt, or dying and the hero promises, "everything will be all right." I always think, "don't make promises you can't keep." Fortunately we have a Father who makes promises he always keeps. Our joy is not founded on the flimsy word of earthly flesh, but the sure word and strength of God's glorious might. So what moves us to be thankful and joyous in every circumstance? We have been qualified, delivered, and transferred.
1. Qualified. Going through the process of qualifying for a home mortgage can be grueling. They poke around your employment, your bank accounts, your debt and your credit scores. And even if you know there is nothing that could go wrong, you never know what might trigger a rejection. You are at the mercy of faceless lenders.
When God qualifies you it has nothing to do with you. Bad credit is his specialty. It is on the basis of his son. Jesus' credit score qualifies us to share in the greatest inheritance of all, the kingdom of God.
2. Delivered. Darkness, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually is suffocating. Prolonged absence of light causes depression, alcoholism, and high rates of suicide. Emotional and spiritual darkness can be just as destructive, if not more. But God has delivered us from darkness. We no longer have to live in its oppressive clutches. When the evils of life bear down on us we don't have to go to the dark places because we have been delivered from them.
3. Transferred. What is so cool about God is that he doesn't just deliver you and leave you alone. He takes action and transfers you to a place of safety and purpose. When we are transferred from darkness he transfers us to the Kingdom of his Son. It is the inheritance that we don't deserve but share in. It is a way of life that is filled with love, acceptance, and forgiveness. It is not based on the empty promise of sinful people but in the character and nature of His beloved Son.
I struggle with my sense of significance. I get caught up with the expectations of the world and my own misguided perceptions. It is when all is stripped away that I am left with the unshakable reality of God's grace. It is no wonder that the Father has to strip the world away. How else will we come to realize how much more we have. I'm just saying.