Ecclesiastes 7:23 All this I have tested by wisdom. I said, “I will be wise,” but it was far from me.  That which has been is far off, and deep, very deep; who can find it out? (ESV)
At this point Solomon has tried to be good and wise apart from God and found he could not do it. Since no one can be right and wise and since foolishness leads to death, what are we to do? Is there any hope for us? Or are we doomed to get what we deserve?
This is what I love about the Gospel and what sets it a part from every other religion. In the middle of us trying to gain understanding, trying to be good and bad, and in the middle of us getting what we deserve, God steps in and gives us the grace we don’t deserve. Mormons rely on works, Jehovah Witnesses rely on works, Muslims rely on works, Buddhists fall in the Karma camp and rely on works, and on and on I could go, but that is not what Jesus is about. In the middle of us deserving the penalty of death, Jesus absorbed all of my dogoodism, sin, and shame and wiped it clean. He then counts me as righteous, not by anything I did or could do, but by his saving works on the cross.
This is why I lean towards the fact that God loves me for who I am now and not some future prototype version of myself. God is not waiting for me to get my junk together and for me to conquer every sin in my life in order for him to rein his grace down. He is even pleased with me in my struggling, stumbling, and confusion.
It’s as if my life is a piece of music that God is composing. He starts with one measure at a time and can already hear the next, but others and myself are clearly deaf to the next unwritten measures. All the while being pleased with one measure of music at a time. How shocking is it to know that God loves us now? He loves our current measure of this musical masterpiece that he is composing. For me, it’s hard to understand, but it’s where I find rest and comfort.
How can this change the way we view ourselves and others around us?
“God is so boundlessly pleased with Jesus that in him he is altogether well pleased with us.” – Charles H. Spurgeon