There is Nothing Left to Prove

I think a driving force for most of my life has been about trying to prove something—mainly that I am somebody. Maybe you can relate. This issue is identity, and it plays out in a thousand ways.

  • I am smart. I’ll prove it.
  • I am athletic. I’ll prove it.
  • I am right. I’ll prove it.
  • I am nice. I’ll prove it.
  • I am successful. I’ll prove it.
  • I am popular. I’ll prove it.
  • I am good. I’ll prove it.
  • I am strong. I’ll prove it.
  • I am a good singer… actor… or writer… and I’ll prove it.
  • I am a good student. I’ll prove it.
  • I am a good pastor. I’ll prove it.
  • I am a good preacher. I’ll prove it.
  • I am a good parent. I’ll prove it.
  • I am a good husband/wife. I’ll prove it.
  • I am a good ___________. I’ll prove it.
The list could go on and on. And in every way that I try to prove myself, I become more and more a prisoner of my own idealized self, which soon becomes my idolized self. And an idolized self is not a friend.
For many of us guys, we are trying to prove something to our fathers who, whether intentionally or unintentionally, never validated us as men. We are saying with our lives, “Look, Dad. I am somebody! Notice me! I have what it takes! Affirm me!” For women, it is usually the approval of a mother that is craved.
But what if I no longer had anything to prove? Can you imagine the freedom? What if I had a perfect parent whose daily refrain over my life was, “This is my son in whom I am well pleased.” You may say, “That is what God the Father said to Jesus the Son, not to me.” The amazing truth of the gospel is that those who by faith receive and possess the perfect record of Jesus’ righteousness are justified by grace and adopted in love. Jesus’ Father is my Father, and those words of affection and validation are now mine. They are not deserved or earned, so they can’t be lost. They are given. They are grace.
In light of the gospel, there is nothing left to prove. Let’s go live like it!

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