A brilliant young pianist was performing for the first time in public, and when he finished, he received a standing ovation from everyone in the crowd except an older gentleman in the front row. Crestfallen, the young pianist left the stage dejected. When asked why he allowed the response of one man to judge his performance, the pianist responded, “that man is my teacher.”
As physicians, we have “climbed the ladder” through all the steps of hard work and study in college, medical school, and finally through our postgraduate education. All through that time, we were able to succeed with those achievements by focusing our efforts to please our teachers. To get into medical school, we had to work hard through college to maintain an excellent grade point average. To enter the residency we desired, we had to work hard and perform well through medical school. Finally, to get the practice opportunity we desired, we had to work hard and perform well throughout our residency/fellowship. To put it simply, our achievements in medicine have been based on performance.
No wonder it’s so difficult for us to grasp the fact that the kingdom of God is not “performance based”. We begin to think that in order for us to enter the kingdom of God, we must make sure our “grade point” is high enough to qualify. We fall into the trap of thinking that in order to “show our worth as a Christian” we must perform well.
But the kingdom of God is not like that. Paul reminds us in this verse, that our salvation rests solely upon the work of God, not upon what we have done. It is only because of God’s grace and mercy that we are able to enter the kingdom of God. When we place our faith in Christ, He accepts us, not because of our prior performance, but because of His love and care for us. He has already “performed” for us on the cross by dying for all our sins. We simply need to rest in that salvation and enjoy His fellowship.
Prayer: Lord help me to realize that my relationship with you is not based on my performance, but upon your mercy. Amen