Give Jesus Your Worst
In the Old Testament, sacrifice of the unspotted lamb, the first of the flock, the best of the harvest represented the perfect offering that was to be made in the meridian of time. But, when Christ died for all of us, sacrifice changed and a new paradigm occurred. No longer are we asked to bring perfection to the altar, that happened through God’s son. In place of the perfect offering, we have now been asked to bring our worst to the altar; our sins, our mistakes, our shortcomings, our struggles. It is the worst that we have to offer that now makes the perfect sacrifice. Why, because it is our worst that has the potential to make us see ourselves as something less than God’s offspring. When we bring the Lord our worst and consecrate it to Him by pouring the oils of a broken heart and a contrite spirit upon it, we make our worst the best offering we can give to the Lord. In return, he makes our weaknesses strengths.
We hear the term, “stealing from the Lord”. When we hear this, what do we think of, tithes and offerings? When I hear this I think of my sins. Long ago the Lord purchased my sins, my struggles and my pain with His blood. He holds a receipt with my name upon it. On that receipt, written in His blood, is a list of all that He paid for and will pay for. He owns it! It is His! And when I (we) choose to withhold that which is rightfully His (our imperfections) we steal from the Lord. It is like someone purchasing our car but we refuse to give them the title. They have paid for it but we won’t give it to them.
We see an example of this in the story of the rich young man who visits the Lord and tells Him all that he has done dutifully throughout his life, expecting the Lord to be pleased with his offering. But then the twist, the Lord asks the rich young man to sell all that he has and give it to the poor. More than his righteous offerings, the Lord wanted the young man’s worst. He wanted the rich young man’s pride. Sadly, the rich young man walked away, unable to give away his worst and be made his best through Christ.
When speaking with the scribes one day and listening to their weak confessions, John the Baptist said to them, “I require meet unto repentance” What he was saying was, the Lord doesn’t want the little stuff, the simple stuff, the trivial stuff, He wants the good stuff! Give Him the very worst you have, for only this is an acceptable sacrifice unto the Lord!
I recall watching a documentary once on auto collisions. One of the early interesting discoveries was that it was not the first impact that injured and killed people; it was the second impact. Meaning, it’s wasn’t the two cars colliding that caused death it was the second impact of the person hitting the steering wheel, the dash board and the windshield that caused the major damage.
There is an interesting parallel to this regarding our sins. Ultimately, it is not the first bad decision that does the greatest harm to us but our second decision that has the real potential to damage or kill us spiritually! If, after we have made an initial mistake, we choose to cover it up, ignore it or justify our mistake, it is this decision that truly has that power to injure us spiritually and isolate us from our Savior!
One of the icons of Mormonism is the CTR ring, but I often wish we had another ring on our other hand, an RTC ring. We should all strive to “Choose The Right” but when this doesn’t happen, what then? Righting The Choice is just as important if not more important than assuming we will always make the right decision the first time. Thus, a Right The Choice (RTC) ring is also needed. It reminds us that it is the second decision (giving Jesus our worst) that has the greatest power to liberate or bind us to our weakest self.
So, when I say, give Jesus your worst. It means bundle up your worst, yuckiest, stinkiest self, take it to the altar of God, poor the oils of a broken heart and contrite spirit upon it and give it to Him! This is the perfect sacrifice. When we give Jesus our worst, we are giving Him our best.
I bear witness of the reality of Christ’s atonement and its power to liberate us from our weakest self and make us whole! I proclaim that the Lord has the power to help us to live our lives in the present and no longer be pulled into the despair of our past! And, I affirm that through our works of gratitude we demonstrate our acceptance of, and faith in, the Lord’s gift of grace!