June 17, 2022

No Performance Necessary


We set our hearts at rest in his presence. 1 John 3:19

Not a single one of our human parents were perfect.  So we get into trouble when we think about God as some sort of cosmic parent.

Most Saturday nights Rob’s parents would have a cocktail party in their home.  As the eldest child in the family, Rob’s responsibility was to stay upstairs with his younger siblings and keep them quiet and occupied.  But Rob was also a musician who played the piano beautifully. In all of his growing up years, Rob said that his dad rarely interacted with him at all, but at some point, every Saturday evening, Rob knew that his dad would come upstairs and tell him to come down and play the piano for his parents’ guests.

Rob said he spent each of those Saturday nights filled with dread.  His dad expected a performance and it had better be a good one.  Those instances were the only time his dad ever affirmed him with words like, that was good, son. Rob felt like his Saturday night performances were all that really mattered to his dad.

The pressure to perform is something that’s easy to carry over into our relationship with God, our spiritual Father.  It’s easy to think that, because of what Jesus did for us, we’d better live up to it, but 1 John 3:19 gives us a very different picture: “We set our hearts at rest in his presence,” it reads.  While we value God’s gift of Jesus and God’s love, we can rest in His presence. He doesn’t expect us to earn His love. “We love him because he first loved us,” Scripture points out (1 John 4:19) What a Father!