My husband had a spiritual breakthrough for the New Year. When he woke on Christmas morning, God helped him see what He really wanted Brian to give Him for Christmas. God has given us His best—His very Son. All He asks in return is that we give Him our worst.
I know that sounds a little backward, but it is a deep spiritual reality that our human nature, which tends towards self-sufficiency, keeps us from realizing. I like how John 3:21 is translated by the Holcomb Christian Standard Bible: “But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” It is what is happening in our spiritual life, whether we realize it or not anyway. It’s spiritual growth to figure it out all the good that is done in our lives is really God’s work. God doesn't ask our best. God asks our worst and He alone makes us our best.
Even Jesus saw His good works as God’s work. In John 5:19, He says, “Then Jesus replied, I assure you: the Son is not able to do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son also does these things in the same way.” Our God can really get going in guiding our spiritual life when we realize that all we have too offer is our worst, rather than being so ashamed of it that we try to cover it up by good works in our own effort. Just admit it; we have nothing. Recognizing this spiritual reality is the gift that God wants and anybody can give.
Realizing that all you have to give God is your worst helps you not be so preoccupied with yourself. It is freedom. It is a key to the spiritual life.
Thomas Keating says it this way: “Dedication to God is developed by commitment to one’s spiritual practices for God’s sake. Service to others is the outgoing movement of the heart prompted by compassion. It neutralizes the deep-rooted tendency to become preoccupied with our own spiritual journey and how we are doing.”
Why don't you try accepting this spiritual reality this week? Stop trying to please God. Dedicate yourself to God and ask Him to do anything good that is done through you. Give Him yourself. Give Him your weakness and your inabilities. Give God your worst self. He can work with that.
In so doing you will discover how the prayer that starts with “I am powerless” is the most powerful prayer you can pray.
I am thankful for this reminder and for the suggested theme for a Tea Time devotion for this week. At first giving God your worst sounds like giving Him your leftovers, the things that won't even sell at a garage sale. That is not what I am talking about. He wants all you have to give. All you have to give is worse than the things that won't sell at your garage sale. As we reflect deeper in the spiritual journey, we realize that anything we have to give is our worst.
Jesus told us, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” Repent, realize that you have nothing more that repentance to give God. He won't take it from you. He won't force you to repent. He asks you to give it to Him. Wow, what can God do with your worst?