Qualified

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…giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 

 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 

Colossians 1:12-14

My son, who is homeschooled, is in ninth grade and the curriculum we chose this year has a built-in grading system. The kind most of us grew up with A,B,C,D,F. This is his first encounter with grades. I never used them because I have such an aversion to them. The first time he got a grade lower than an A, he was devastated. More than once when he got a “bad” grade, he would tear up, push away from the computer and leave the room. It took a lot for me to not trash the curriculum. Instead, I helped him over a period of weeks to recognize grades for what they are – a method designed to help us understand where he needs to develop more mastery of a subject and what grades are not – an assessment of his value or worth.

Grades are part of our lives for good or for bad. Even into adulthood, long after schooling is done, grades enter our lives.  I recently had my evaluation done at work. It felt a lot like being graded. And it was. The evaluation is done only to show me where I need to improve and what I am doing that meets expectations. Knowing this though doesn’t change the barbs that enter my brain for a lower mark. Grades and evaluations are also used to evaluate our qualifications to move on or move upward. I got a raise because of my evaluation. People get qualified for college scholarships for good grades.  This is how things work in our kingdom.

The problems come when grades and evaluations become something we internalize and allow to eat away at our sense of self worth or when they become a source of pride and cause us to puff up.

In the kingdom of God, however, things work differently. I am qualified to receive my inheritance (which includes healing) simply because Jesus made the grade, passed the evaluation on my behalf. I am qualified because He qualified me. When I tend to qualify myself based on my assessment of myself, I recognize quickly that I don’t make the grade and feel disqualified to ask for healing or anything else for that matter. Implied in the ability to disqualify myself though is the reciprocal of that thought – that there is something I can do to qualify myself for His blessings. And that is just plain wrong. I can’t do anything to qualify myself nor can I do anything to disqualify myself except to believe in the qualifying sacrifice Jesus made for me. Then I can boldly come to God and ask for and receive my inheritance.

Jesus, thank You for rescuing me from the domain of darkness and transferring me to Your kingdom where there is redemption and forgiveness for my sins. Thank You that qualifying to be in Your kingdom isn’t based on my ability to perform satisfactorily. Thank You for my healing and for allowing me to share in Your inheritance with You and all those that call upon Your name. When I am tempted to disqualify myself, would You please remind me that You’ve got that covered. I ask in Your name. Amen

picture credit:  amandastaysatchurch.com

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