How much do I love myself? That’s the question I’ve been wrestling with as of lately. And as a believer in Jesus Christ, the answer to that question puts me in tension. On the one hand, if I say that I love myself a whole bunch then I begin to meander towards a path that can declare that I deserve Christ’s death and atonement for my sins. To me walking down this path begins to not only think too highly of myself but I begin to make His death upon the cross flimsy and weak because it becomes more about me and less about him. But on the other hand, if I think too lowly of myself and love myself in a pathetic tiny amount then I begin to state that Christ’s death and payment with it wasn’t costly ENOUGH. Too little love of me makes His death not sacrificial enough. So when we walk down THIS path we make his work upon the cross insufficient, weak, incomplete, and even wrong. So where are we to find ourselves? Because too heavy towards one direction makes his death paltry, confusing, and even flat-out wrong.
We are to live in the tension of the middle. We live into the reality that while my daily sins declare that I am not worthy to be with Christ, by His grace, He declares that I am. And yet we also live into the reality that WE ARE worth it because he declares that we are – and we know that because he left his throne on high, entered into humanity, and died for our sins. We live into the tension that while I don’t deserve what he has done, regardless of how I feel, he declares that I am worth it. We live into that middle tension of love where we shy away from every lash that was received for my brokenness and yet He declares that he would take even more lashes for us. We live into that middle tension of love where we want to declare, “Do not go to that rugged cross!” and yet Christ not only poured out his blood upon it for our sins he would pour out even more if he had to. That when we understand that Jesus “poured out himself” it was so that us, in nothing, could become something by his work and justification. That the crown that had fallen off due to our sins, by Christ’s atoning sacrifice, death, and resurrection, that fallen crown is now justifiably placed upon our head.
The tension of love that we live into should never be so far behind the cross that we can never approach it nor should it be so far beyond it that we never look back. We, instead, live in the tension of the middle of his sacrificial love. A tension that reminds us of who we are (behind the cross) and yet BECAUSE OF THE CROSS and the love of Christ we are propelled beyond it.
So live into love’s tension of the middle. A place where we recognize our brokenness and yet where we also declare our wholeness. One in which I understand what I’ve done and yet live into what He’s done. Live into love’s tension of the middle where when I understand what his love has done for me I, in turn, realize what my love is supposed to do for others. It’s a place where we sit, in tension, as we wait the finality of what love has done when we either stand before Him in glory and worship him upon our physical death or He returns and brings with him the New Heaven and New Earth and we worship, in love and glory, today and for eternity.
Just my 2 cents