“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!'” Matthew 25:23
This is a little something I wrote about my journey to let go of legalistic beliefs I’ve lived with for far too long. Beliefs that left me overwhelmed, exhausted, and defeated. The last few years the Lord has been revealing the truth to me through his Word, long conversations I have with him (usually on long hikes by Cibolo Creek), gospel-centered sermons and books by Tullian Tchividjian, Steve Brown, Elyse Fitzpatrick, John Lynch and others, understanding friends, other writers, and the difficult but freeing work I have done in recovery. Grateful for the gentle voices and those who have respected my story (God’s story that He is writing through me). Most especially, those who have taken the time to LISTEN, really listen, and love me through it.
Well done, good and faithful servant!
Those words used to haunt me.
I know deep down I am not good.
Faithful is the last word I’d use to describe me.
Have I done good things in this life?
Sure, a few…but I have to say that my motives were almost always skewed.
Have I been faithful in this life?
Not a single day.
I’ve had moments of faith, but “faithful”…I’d have to say no way.
“Don’t you want to hear those words when you enter those gates?” they may ask.
Of course I do…and my whole life I’ve been trying to complete an impossible task.
“Well, you’d better start working a little harder to be good and faithful,” I hear every day in a thousand different ways.
For far too long, those words, twisted in the wrong way, have bound me and others in chains.
Instead of looking to Jesus, my savior and rescuer, they had me staring at my constant failures and pain.
Those chains that I could never seem to escape….
“Do more, try harder!”
“Get over it!”
“Here’s your checklist. If you do all of these you’re doing the Christian life right.”
“Always smile…don’t ruin your witness.”
“Succeed at that.”
“Never leave home without your mask.”
“Bury the pain.”
“Don’t listen to that!”
“Don’t associate with them.”
“Serve here, serve there, serve everywhere.”
“Pray like this..not like that.”
Those fill-me-with-shame chains.
The enemy of my soul’s tools to terrorize and drain.
I know what I really must do.
Put my heart and soul in the hands of the only one who was ever good and faithful and true.
Jesus will stand before me as I walk through those gates.
I will have nothing to offer but the evidence of His grace.
“Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Those will be words I will hear mighty God say.
ONLY because of Jesus, the AUTHOR and PERFECTER of my faith.
Christina Hernandez, Dec. 2014
There is so much more I could add to the list of chains. What would you add?
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