It turns out I’m a good girl. I had no idea. I thought I was a bad girl. A bad girl rescued by God’s extravagant grace and stunning love. My story has always been about God’s grace. My life is proof that His love has been a freely unmerited gift – a gift I’ve cherished and proclaimed and praised God for time and time again.
1 Corinthians 15:10-11 The Message
But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste. Haven’t I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others? Even then, my work didn’t amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it. So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it’s all the same: We spoke God’s truth and you entrusted your lives.
But the truth is that the Grace that plucked me from the pit of despair is the same grace I desperately need to infuse my present-day strides toward goodness. Yes, I confess. I strive to be good. And it is exhausting. I didn’t think I was a striving good girl until I started reading Emily P. Freeman’s, “Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life.” I thought I was just living out obedient faith demonstrating my love for God. But somewhere in the secret places of my heart and mind, striving efforts swirl into masked goodness pursuing the affection and approval of not just others, but God, too.
It is a life long habit.
A good girl saying the right thing to the right people at the right time. A good girl loving her husband romantically. A good girl forgiving her father for his absence and silent rejection. A good girl snuggling with her daughter, because that’s her love language. A good girl finishing all her Bible study homework before showing up in her good-girl outfit.
A good girl wanting to please everyone, and especially God with her goodiness goodness.
It is not that those good things are bad things to pursue. Not at all. A wife is called to love her husband romantically. A daughter of the King is called to forgive, 70 x 7. A momma should absolutely pour out love on her child. A disciple definitely should put her time into the Word and take care of her appearance. None of these things should cease to be. But it is the motivation behind them that must change.
As good girls, we subconsciously label ourselves as the strong ones, the responsible ones, the sweet ones, or the right ones. We try to stand tall and capable as the good Christian, the good wife, the good mom, and the good one. But Jesus is calling us to a deeper, truer, freer identity. All he wants is simply you–minus your good works, minus your perfect attendance, minus your politeness. When you really believe that, you may discover that all you want is Jesus, simply Jesus. Not just to get to heaven or to help you be a good person or do the right thing, but to simply love and be loved by Him. (Grace for the Good Girl, p. 37).
Simply me. Simply Him. Simply you. Good girls and bad girls in a grace-filled community. Seeking to know the Truth and be radically changed by God’s working it in and through our heart and mind.
More to Be is not about being more.
It is about knowing Him more and becoming more like Him.
Is about shining bright as we experience a life transformed because of His grace not because of our goodness.
We must never strive to be good, for goodness sake. We’ll burn out our light with pure exhaustion.
We become more like Christ when we know and fully accept that we are approved, chosen, redeemed, and loved simply as God’s children (Ephesians 1). We don’t need to earn God’s affection or validate our worth. God has established through our identity in Christ. We simply need to respond, in heart-filled love, receiving His grace as we learn to become simply His.
2 Corinthians 12:9 The Message
My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.
Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.
Will you accept God’s grace?
Will it be enough?
Will you, my good girl and bad girlfriends, commit with me to cultivating a community of grace dwellers and grace givers here at More to Be?