I feel it is important to clarify our recent posts, “Teen Girls Define A Real Man” and “Teens Define A Real Woman.” Both posts are challenging and biblical. We wouldn’t have posted them otherwise. Nevertheless, lists of character qualities tend to push us into one of two ditches: 1) being legalistic teen pharisees, or 2) being depressed by our failure to measure up.
Both responses are wrong because it is by grace alone that we satisfy the “righteous requirements of the law.” Both the “can-do” attitude of self-confidence and the “can’t-do” attitude of discouragement rests hope (or lack of hope) on man’s sufficiency.
Neither pride nor discouragement should taint our response to God’s standards. The perfect law of God leaves no room for pride. The amazing cross of Christ leaves no room for discouragement. In Romans 8:29 we are told the elect of God are “predestined” to be “conformed to the image” of Christ! In Philippians 1:6 the Apostle Paul states his confidence that the what God has started (i.e. conforming us to the image of Christ) He will complete.
Our fight for holy conformity to the image of Christ is a fight for fierce dependence on Christ! In John 15:5 Christ tells us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
I challenge you to read the lists, to download the PDF’s (Real Man – Real Woman), and to examine your heart and life against the teaching of Scripture. However, I pray that grace will humble and encourage you, and that the sufficiency of Christ will be your hope.
The PDF looks really cool with the pink and blue. I’m now going to find a place to put it so I will constantly be reminded of what God expects of me as a girl!
Great post! I have discovered the hard way that by myself I can do nothing. Every time I try to fly on my own, I fall flat on my face. But if God’s grace and love can reach down to the lowest sinner and pull him up to be a son of God, a brother of Christ, what can’t it do? There are things I must do (“do hard things”), but some things must be left to Christ and His all-sufficient grace. Praise the Lord!
Thanks for the reminder about the deep ditches on both sides of the road!
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”
1 Corinthians 15:10
Balance is so much of a key many areas of life…between grace & pride being one of those. Thanks for the reminder. I finally got to read the “A Real Woman” and I think it will be a helpful tool to keep some goals in mind!
Brett, thank you for writing, “the amazing cross of Christ leaves no room for discouragement.” These last few weeks have been very difficult for me, but that put everything back in focus. How wonderfully true those words are!
i cant see to click on the links