June 26, 2020
I was browsing on Ebay the other day, reading ads for used cars. I remember one advertisement in particular was for an older, worn-down vehicle. Somewhere in the description were these words: “As Is.”
“As Is” means the buyer agrees to buy the product without the right to complain afterwards if there are some issues or problems with it.
Seeing the phrase “As Is” is pretty common when browsing used car ads. But what stood out to me that day was my reaction to the phrase. I had a negative reaction, like I knew I didn’t want the car. “There’s probably something wrong with it,” I thought to myself. “Let’s pass on that one.”
But that’s a lot like my life.
Struggling with Acceptance
Often I struggle to accept myself and others “As Is.” I want to change, fix myself, or improve something. And I want others to do the same. It can be exhausting.
In many perspectives on life, both religious and non-religious, our worth is based on what we do or accomplish. If we accomplish a lot of good things, we are thought of as a worthwhile person. If we don’t accomplish much, we aren’t worth much at all.
Christianity and Grace
But Christianity teaches that God accepts us “As Is.” God doesn’t see me like I saw the used car ad, and think, “There’s probably something wrong with it. Let’s pass on that one.”
It’s the opposite. God gives us grace. God loves and accepts us “As Is.”
My challenge is to do the same.
Take a Break
So perhaps, just for today, take a break from trying to improve and become better. Relax and accept yourself “As Is.” Try not to be so hard on your spouse, kids, and co-workers. Try to love and accept them “As Is.”
You can get back to your self-improvement project tomorrow. Or not. Maybe the “As Is” life is the way to go.
What is one area of your life that is difficult for you to accept “As Is?” What would it look like to bring love or offer grace to that part of yourself?
[…] I think one reason why Paul didn’t let his struggle become his identity was that he understood at a deep level that God didn’t see him through the lens of his struggle. He knew, deep in his soul, that God’s grace was sufficient for him. Even though the struggle didn’t go away, Paul knew that because of God’s grace, he was loved and accepted as is. […]
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