Yesterday I went to a consignment sale held in a huge room full of toys, clothes and baby items. The only things that are accepted in this wonderful sale are clean, gently used items in good condition that have all the pieces. It was fun to shop with my daughter, Janelle, who is expecting her first baby — my twelfth grandchild. I found a beautiful high chair to add to my collection for visiting grandchildren for a fraction of the cost of new!
As I picked up each item I was mostly impressed with the condition and prices. But once I found the items I was mainly looking for, I found myself noticing little things that didn’t point to necessarily gentle use. Toward the end of my shopping time I realized that I was unfairly evaluating some of the items. They were, in fact, used!
When I left I found myself thinking about being “gently used” and “in good condition.” I smiled to myself as I was driving home. I’m grateful that I don’t typically feel like I have to clean myself up to make a good impression on people. Most of the people in my life are more than gracious to overlook the smudges, wrinkles and dings about me. Or to recognize that they, too, are flawed. But sometimes I’ve felt that my good condition just hasn’t been good enough for some. Have you?
As a Christian, it’s wonderful to know that God’s evaluation of me is through the lens of His Son’s perfect obedience. When Jesus Christ died on the cross He absorbed every sin and flaw about me and then granted to me His righteous life. Yes, I still sin. And ask anyone who knows me: I’m flawed!
While I care about what others think and want to live with them in mind (like Jesus did), I am incapable of never hurting or disappointing others. When I do, I want to take responsibility for messing up and ask forgiveness when appropriate. But even in my most flawed state when anger or bitterness or jealousy or lust or selfishness is knocking on the door of my heart and mind — and even when I give in and outright sin — Jesus stands eager to remind me that nothing can separate me from His love and His favor is never withdrawn from me. He loves repentant sinners, before and after we sin. How amazing.
He knows I’m gently used and because of His sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the grave, I’m in good condition. What a thought!
If you, like me, struggle with craving the approval of others and wish people didn’t pick you up and notice your every flaw, consider Jesus. If you belong to Him your flaws and smudges are just reminders that you have the marks of being in a fallen world on your life.
But Jesus already paid the price to buy you for His very own. I would never have been clean enough to earn His love and favor.
Gently or not-so-gently used. In good or bad condition. Broken. Dented. Dirty. Tossed aside we come.
And He buys us anyway.