One morning, when I was in high school, I was in a rush to catch the bus. On my way out I must have said something harsh to my mom. Normally I wouldn’t have thought twice about it.
When I got home my mom wasn’t there (which was unusual) and on my bed was a note. The note said that she was too hurt from my bad attitude day after day and she needed some space from me. My mom is a fighter and this was the first and only time I remember her waving a white flag.
She drew a chart of highs and lows and said that I’m one or the other. When I’m up; the whole house is laughing and having a great time. When I’m down, the whole house wanted to stay away from me. She said that I needed Jesus to help me level out a bit and grow up.
Not so high.
At the core, the Cross says the best thing about me: that the God of the universe became a man and died on the cross because of his love for me. I’m loved. By God. No one can say anything better about me.
Jesus died on the Cross because I am far more loved than I ever imagined.
So if I understand the cross and think I did something great (or great things are happening around me), it should always come with a bit of humility, because the greatest thing about me has already been said. I have nothing to prove to anyone. Ever.
Not so low.
At the core, the Cross also says the worst thing about me: that my sin goes so deep I am lost and separated from God. I’ve walked away from God and replaced him with worthless things that fail and fade.
Jesus died on the Cross because I am far worse than I ever imagined.
So if I understand the cross and think I did something bad (or bad things are happening around me), it should always come with a bit of humility, because the worst thing that can ever be said about me has already been said. I have nothing to hide from anyone because the God of the universe has seen it all. All of it. He sees me as I am, not as I try to present myself. And he still loves me.
That note my mom wrote me always stuck with me. All four years in college I had it taped to the ceiling over my bed. It struck me deep as something I needed to know and believe for the long term. Everywhere I moved in my 20’s I made sure it was where I could see it. After I got married the paper was lost in the shuffle in one of our moves.
But I still somehow carry it with me all the time.