I know things. I know that Jesus died for my sin, and I know that His righteousness is all the identity I need. I know that all my hope and all my life is found in Him.
I know that with every conscious faculty I have. And yet, if you push on my soul it will still instinctively respond as if there is another truth altogether. There are lies inside of me that I don’t even believe, and yet I believe them so deeply I feel like a slave to them.
I know that my ability to reason adds no value to my personhood. I know that. I know that the way someone looks don’t increase or decrease their worth. I know that competence, talent, articulation, capability or even godliness do not make someone more worthy of love.
And yet, catch me in an unconscious moment and my instincts testify that I don’t know any of that. I can be defensive about my insecurities, arrogant about my strengths. I can find my mind comparing myself to others; building or tearing down my confidence based on how we line up.
1. Learn the things you know. I am tempted so often to confuse growth with learning something new. Knowledge is not belief. My problem is not that I don’t have enough information in my head, it’s that in the deep and unconscious places of my heart I still do not trust and treasure the very basic truths of the Gospel
I could hear the Gospel every day for the rest of my life and still have room to grow in knowing the Gospel.
2. Fear the right things. It is probably pretty irritating for my co-workers that I find my identity in my work sometimes. It probably makes me more challenging to work with. My insecurity and arrogance might be the means of my singleness or obstacles in community.
But one thing I know for sure: neither my co-workers irritation, nor a life alone are the things I should fear.
The real thing to fear is this: there is no way that we can believe lies in our horizontal relationships without somewhere deep down believing them in the vertical.
If there is any part of me that thinks I have more worth or value because of my strengths, then rest assured – I believe that about me and God as well. And no matter how much every corner of my conscious heart might deny that, it must be there: buried beneath the surface.
Because you cannot live under one worldview with your friends and family and coworkers, and assume you have an entirely different world view with God.
We don’t work that way.
If I find my identity in work at work, then I find my identity in what I bring to the table with God as well, which is a rejection of the Gospel.
If I think someone is more deserving of a relationship because they are ‘prettier, smarter, funnier’, then – somewhere deep down – I believe that God picked me because of something about me. Another rejection of the Gospel.
3. Repent and rest. The insecurities in my horizontal relationships testify that I think there is something insufficient in the value of the blood of Jesus. My value is determined by the price that was paid for me. When I look to strengths, skills, respect or approval to add to my value, I testify that my value (the price of Jesus) is not enough. I need Jesus plus intelligence, Jesus plus Disney Princess hair, Jesus plus a husband, Jesus plus a career.
In repentance and rest is my salvation.
I will plead for forgiveness for the unconscious sin in my heart. Like David, I will beg God to “declare me innocent of hidden faults”. I will ask Him to hallow out His name through my life. Father, use me to testify that nothing can increase my value; my worth is secure in Christ.
In the conscious places, Jesus, I proclaim the truth: you are more than enough for me. May the unconscious places hear and believe.