I ruined the rug in my bedroom, and it reminded me about Jesus.
Let me explain.
A few days ago, I completed a workout at the YMCA, gathered my personal belongings, and drove a little aggressively to the house in order to make a protein shake in time for a phone call that I was running a little late for.
I wheeled up to the house, jogged in, put two heaping scoops of vegetarian protein powder into a shaker bottle, added 16 ounces of water, screwed on the top, put my finger on top to keep the lid down, and started to shake vigorously (I don't mind the taste of the shake, but undissolved vegetarian protein powder is pretty nasty).
While I was shaking the bottle, my phone rang in my bedroom, and I hustled over to get to the phone on time. As I ran into bedroom shaking the bottom, my finger came off the lid and a half-dissolved protein shake went flying all over my bedroom, mostly on our predominantly white rug.
Nothing's worked to clean it up. We've tried everything. EVERYTHING. While some of the smaller stains came up with a little work, there is one HUGE brown spot that will forever remain. It's permanent. While there's plenty I can do to make my rug worse, there's nothing I can do to make it new.
And that's when I thought about Jesus.
Paul wrote in Romans 3:23-34, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
Think about that word "justified" for a minute. Do you understand what that means? It means that as far as God is concerned, you are as righteous as Jesus because you believe in Jesus.
Let that sink in.
Even though you are a sinner who falls far short of God's glory, if you believe in who Jesus is and what He has done, you are just as righteous as He is in the sight of God. You have Jesus' righteousness!
And if you have Jesus' righteousness, two things are true.
First, there is no sin you can commit that makes you less righteous.
Second, there is no good thing you can do to make you more righteous.
Because, by grace through faith, God gives you Jesus' righteousness, there is nothing you can do to contribute to or take away from the righteousness He has given you.
To often I think about my life like a white rug in my bedroom. It's full of life's stains (those that I'm responsible for and those that have been done to me), and I go to great lengths to make it white again, failing miserably. But because of my faith in who Jesus is and what He's done, I've got a new rug ... Jesus' rug, if you will ... and there's nothing I can do stain it, nor anything I can do to make it whiter.
How liberating is that?! In Jesus, we are permanently righteous, so we are now free live as those grateful for this amazing gift. That is, we are people who will "not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of (our minds), so that (we) may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2).
May you be reminded of this at every shortcoming you have, as well as every inclination to make yourself right before God. You are already permanently righteous in Jesus.