Should Vs. Could

God looks at you not as you “should” be, but as you could be.

The institutional church culture often forces what you “should” do — should be reading more Bible, should be evangelizing, should be nicer, should sing louder, should should should.

But this is a suffocating stranglehold to an arbitrary standard that can never be good enough. It looks like success but it feels like slavery. The Good News of the Gospel is that while everyone else is pressuring you into behavioral conformity, God meets you exactly where you are and travels the rugged road with you. Jesus is our fellow eternal traveler, the God who wore sandals and breathed dirt and baked hot bread: so that faith is not a grid of morality, but an adventure of unfolding life with the relentless lover of our souls.

He does not pretend you’re perfect or that you’ll ever fully arrive, but His grace is carrying you into your True Self: the you that is capable of patience and mercy and kindness, the inner-self that is the Christ-chiseled re-creation which began as vague glimpses of change but is ever more transforming as you cling to Him.

God sees you as you could be, because He is not locked by the vice of time. And He does not love some future awesome version of you, but you as you are now. Work hard, but have grace for yourself too.

— J

9 thoughts on “Should Vs. Could

  1. “Look at it this way: At the right time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for ungodly people…Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God’s love for us” (Romans 5:6, 8 GW).


  2. I love to read posts about that horrible “S” word. I thought this was a great post. I try not to “S” on myself too. There’s something so positive about saying “Could” instead of the negativity of “S”.


    1. I laughed at “S” word, hah.
      I do believe there are times when Jesus spoke in a tough way which appears like “should,” but so much of his work and actions were about “could.” The Book of John, for instance.


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