Peace family, it’s hard to be reminded that we aren’t very good at something.
After a lifetime of putting it off, I am finally trying to make myself learn to read music and play the piano. I’ve been using a teach-yourself-piano book, and it’s so much hard work, but it is so fun to finally be able to read music and see how things are coming together between my brain and fingers, a little at a time.
Having housemates, though, I am remembering just how much I dread playing an instrument badly in front of anyone else. Not only am I ashamed of performing badly, but I also am afraid of annoying others. Last night, I was thinking about the irrationality of this fear. Am I afraid of my housemates discovering that I am not some great pianist, a fact that we all already know? Am I afraid that if I irritate them, my kind and loving housemates won’t have patience, will start to dislike me, or that they will make fun of me for playing badly?
I realized that with piano, I might not have much grace or patience for myself or my mistakes, because I don’t expect others to have any for me, either, even though I am learning something new. I also think I might have these fears in other areas of my life, including my relationship with God.
In a world where we feel driven to perform or else be abandoned and condemned, it can be hard to grasp the fact that this is not God’s attitude towards us. As believers in Christ, it can also feel much easier to accept that Christ paid the price and has grace and forgiveness for others’ imperfections and sins, but we don’t feel like God will have any for us.
Peace family, the Bible says that God is slow to anger and abounding in love. It says that he is a good father, and he wants all of the little children- people who really don’t have much to offer- to come near to him. He lifts up the humble, he uses the weak to shame the strong, and he is close to the brokenhearted. He adopts us into his family through faith, not by our works, and his love for you was so great that before you even existed, he made a plan for your salvation. He died for you because he wanted to save you, not because of any good thing that you have done.
Embrace your imperfection, peace family! It’s true that you aren’t good enough, but that’s not why God loves you. He loves you because He is good enough!
In closing, I would ask, do you have mercy for others? Do you have mercy for yourself? Let’s embrace the love and mercy that God has for us, today. He will not abandon you, no matter how badly you play the piano, or anything else!