Do you know what number you are on the Enneagram, that ancient personality tool that helps us learn more about ourselves and the way we relate to others? If you don’t know, you should find out. Of course, that last sentence sounds like something a “3,” which I am, would write. After all, 3’s are also called “The Achiever,” a personality type with lots of benefits in which I revel. But one of its downsides is my tendency to place my value in meeting goals, exceeding standards, and working hard. If you tell me to jump, I’ll ask “how high,” then make sure that I jump just a little higher.
So when Paul reminds me that what’s of utmost importance is not what I do but where my faith lies, I want to say, “Okay yeah, but how do I get an A+ in Christianity?” It’s hard for me to accept that the love of Christ is given so freely, when so much of our lives is about earning, doing, and going above and beyond. Each week I’m checking in with myself to make sure I am not trying to earn God’s favoritism or love (which is especially important for me since I work in a ministry setting). Every Monday I read a children’s book called I Am Enough by Grace Byers. It reminds me that before I accomplish a single task, I am already worthy.
Finding ways to remind ourselves that we are enough in God’s eyes helps relieve some of the cultural pressures that prompt us to place our worth in other things.
When do you feel unworthy of God’s unconditional love and why is it so difficult to accept? What practice might remind you of your worth to God?
Faithful God, we are so grateful for your love that surpasses our understanding. Help us to resist the temptation to think your love is something we can earn or achieve. Amen.