I would hate to have to grade myself, I know too much. The very thought of evaluating, measuring, and in the end judging my performance is revolting. There is far too much evidence that tells me I have not done as much, or as well, or even as thorough as I could have done. I have no idea of how one balances the good with the bad, even when ignoring the quantities involved. I have no sense of perspective. My rationales of the moment do not play well in hindsight. It would be an ugly assignment with an even uglier result.
Fortunately, if we can look at ourselves in the mirror we do not need to put up a grade. It is important that we see ourselves, fully, completely, and resolutely just as we are. Sometimes it is difficult. Sometimes it is way beyond not pretty. Sometimes the view seems to be overwhelming, especially when one knows how life, others, and even God are passing judgment.
The past speaks volumes, on two fronts. First, we know how God feels when someone squanders a great opportunity. “Our Redeemer speaks, named God-of-the-Angel-Armies, The Holy of Israel: ‘Shut up and get out of the way, daughter of Chaldeans. You'll no longer be called ‘First Lady of the Kingdoms.’ I was fed up with my people, thoroughly disgusted with my progeny. I turned them over to you, but you had no compassion. You put old men and women to cruel, hard labor.’” (Isaiah 47.4-6) Usually we stop here. We, at least I, know exactly where we (I) stand, so we (I) never move onto the second front.
Second, “God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him.” (Romans 5.6) God calls us holy, anointed, and Divinity’s children. We have failed, yet we can move forward in this moment to do great things with God. God invites each to be part of something big, wonderful, and ultimately victorious.
Always remember, we share the same God.
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