I can remember when I first was diagnosed as a diabetic. I sat down with a doctor who literally told me “You can no longer look to food as enjoyment. No more cake- that means even on your birthday”. It was one of the most depressing talks I had ever received. I think my mom and I walked out crying.
Being the person I am, I took this seriously and tried my best to “do it right”. I kept a food journal, wrote down everything I ate, counted carbs, and completly cut out sugar. A few months into my diagnosis, I met with a nutritionist. I proudly took out my food journal and said “I have limited my carb intake to this, I have cut out all sugar, and I am concentrating on complex carbs.” She looked at me and said “So what are you blood sugars?” I thought she heard me wrong so I repeated how healthy I was eating and the lack of delicious sugar in my life. “I don’t really need to know that right now, where are your numbers? What does your blood sugar look like?” After picking my mom and me off the floor, this nutritionist explained the difference between a type 1 and type 2 diabetic. I also learned that I had been measuring the wrong thing. What am I eating? That didn’t matter as much as how am I regulating my blood sugar. I was measuring my success by the wrong standard.
This week, my pastor was talking about the same story. He was discussing the percentage of people who measure their relationship with God, their faith, and how good of a person by how often they go to church or do “good” things. Pastor Jeff spoke on Ephesians 2:8-9.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
Really, there is nothing we can do to “earn” salvation or the be good enough. It is 100% grace. So how should we measure our faith or our relationship with God? Matthew 22 tells us- to love God.
Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
Wow. Is that the standard I measure myself to? Not how good I am, not if I have it all together, not my outward appearance, but my inward LOVE for God. Does that drive my life and my decisions? Am I so motivated to be like, speak like, and think like Jesus because I LOVE him, not because I think I have to?