Sunday, July 2, 2006

What Does God Like About Me?

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” (Isa.64:6)

When our children were all at home, and one of us had a birthday, when we were all gathered around the birthday table, my husband would always say, “Let’s each one tell what we like or appreciate the most about ______.” Then we would go around the table pointing out little traits or characteristics about the designated one that stood out to us personally. But what if we had been able to look to Heaven and ask God what He liked most about him or her? Strangely enough, it would probably not have been anything the rest of us had mentioned, because, as I often say, God doesn’t see things the way we do; in fact, those things we do that make us look good to people, that render us “highly esteemed among men,” can, in fact, look just the opposite to God (Luke 16:15).

Evidently, from the verse we can assume that not all “righteousnesses” are the same. (I know some may not like that “archaic” word, but I love saying it!) One would think any righteousness would be good; but not so. The clue is found in the little pronoun that comes before it: “our righteousnesses.” Those wonderful, innate qualities that make some of us stand out among our peers and that endear us to the hearts of others. And they are great, as long as we realize we only impress one another. If God takes notice at all, it makes no impression upon Him whatsoever; and if we are doing it with that in mind, it actually amounts to an abomination in His sight.

That brings me to my original question. Is there anything about me that God likes? Yes, I’m happy to report, there are certain aspects of my character that will turn the head of God every time. They are those things that most nearly replicate His own Son, Jesus Christ. The One of whom He said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matt.3:17); and Who could justifiably boast, “I do always those things that please him [the Father]” (Jno.8:29). “But I can’t be as good as Him!” I hear you saying. Right; which is just as well, since the only righteousness God will accept from us is the imputed kind. The kind we receive as a by-product of our redemption from sin by the sacrifice of Christ. But I would submit that when we consent for that Divine righteousness to manifest itself externally—Supernaturally—God is pleased. No, we are not sinless, as He was; but we can sin less. And according to our Lord, it is possible for our good works (our “righteousnesses,” if you will) to glorify God and not just impress our friends. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt.5:16).

God likes most about me what is most like Him; and growing in grace has taught me, that’s what I like most about me, too!

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