I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. (Romans 12:3)
The more we try to figure ourselves out, the harder it gets. We do something and we attempt to get down to the rationale behind the action we exhibited. We don't do anything and we try to look deeper into the meaning of the inaction. We are always evaluating ourselves by the outcomes of what it is our action or inaction produces. Is this always the most valid way of evaluating ourselves, though? If we take our text today as truth, then we are clearly not to evaluate self by self - we are to evaluate self by what God does for us and who he is.
God is - what does that phrase conjure up in your mind? Some of us will answer the very 'pat' answers such as the God of the Universe, Creator of all things, and above all other gods. These are Sunday School answers, my friends. We need to get down to the brass tax here and begin to understand God for who he is to us by who he really is and what he has done for each of us. Yes, he created all things - that is an accurate answer, but it isn't the totality of who he is.
The goodness of grace isn't something we should discount, for it is what makes each of us what we are - whole, complete, and more than just 'in tact'. We can manage to keep our lives 'in tact', but we have a much harder time with making our lives whole - through and through. We try to add 'wholeness' to our lives with some set of actions that we see as 'good' or 'worthy', but in essence we are just doing what we are supposed to be doing - nothing more.
We might want our lives to 'measure up' to some standard all of the time, but we cannot ever get to that point of 'measuring up' to what God can accomplish in us when we give him full access. Full access means nothing held back and that we actually stop 'doing' what we really cannot do for ourselves. Grace gives us footing - grounding, foundation, and purpose. His love keeps us secure and protected. His peace grants us strength where we lack it on our own. These are the things we come to know and appreciate about our God's actions in our lives once we stop acting and allow him to be the one to take action within! Just sayin!