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.