June 25 | Galatians 3:7-14
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House of Cards
by Mary Alice McGinnis
People who know me have heard me say, I am a recovering perfectionist. I am not sure exactly when it started, but from an early age, I found myself incessantly trying to “measure up.”
Just for the record, this was not my parents' issue, it was MY issue. I desperately wanted to please my parents and make them proud of me. When I did what my parents wanted - when I came in before curfew, did my chores, was a good student and studied hard - I was relieved to find that my parents were happy with me, and I felt accepted and loved.
Behind my driving need for other peoples’ approval was a massive fear – the fear that -
I was not ALL of what I should be.
It was a relentless game of trying to balance a teetering house of cards. I was trying to prop up my lack of self-confidence and insecurity by keeping all the rules, striving to measure up to everyone’s expectations, and desperately needing people’s praise and accolades.
What happened when something when went wrong? I felt like a complete failure when I failed my spelling test, or when I did not put my dad’s tools back in the right place, or when I put the wrong soap in the dishwasher which caused the entire kitchen to flood with suds.
These feelings have lingered into my adulthood, feelings of not having been a good enough mom, spouse, employee, or friend.
"If I am not doing __________, I am not being a good enough Christian. Maybe I am not being all God has asked me to be."
And all too soon, the insecurity of “not measuring up” comes crashing in and demolishing my seemingly well built, yet unstable house of cards.
This is exactly why I CLING to Scripture and what God says to me and about who I am and WHO HE IS!
Paul’s readers, the Jews, were relying on their pedicure and their ability to follow the Law as their measuring stick. Since they were “Abraham’s” decedents and had the Law, they were certain they had God’s stamp of approval.
They were trying to make the Gentiles “acceptable” by making them adhere to all the Jewish Laws. Then, and only then, would these second-class Gentile Christians measure up and be “fully” accepted into the family of believers.
Paul tells the Galatians, “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (Galatians 3:9)
Paul then draws on this beautiful Old Testament promise (Habakkuk 2:4):
“Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because ‘the righteous will live by faith.’” (Galatians 3:11)
This was God’s plan all the way back to the beginning of time!
Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” (Galatians 3:8)
The Good News, the message of the Gospel, begins with this truth.
We are NOT who we should be!
We are under a curse because we CANNOT and NEVER WILL be able to measure up to God’s perfect standard outlined in the Law.