One of my favorite songs from 2016 has to be, “Flawless” by Mercy Me. I still sing it at the top of my lungs whenever I am alone. (I wouldn’t want to ruin the song for anyone else.) I knew the chorus pretty well, but I didn’t know the verses. I love the song even more now that I have looked up the lyrics and watched the video. I want to share with you some of the truths I see contained in this wonderful song.
There’s got to be more Than going back and forth
From doing right to doing wrong
‘Cause we were taught that’s who we are
Come on get in line right behind me
You along with everybody
Thinking there’s worth in what you do
I can’t speak for Mercy Me and what they mean by these words, but I know what they mean to me. We all face the struggle against sin. The Bible is clear that we are in a battle. One of the problems we face is Satan’s lies about who we are. Sometimes even our Christian culture has taught us an incorrect view of ourselves. How many times have you heard Christians say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace.” While that statement may be true, we are no longer considered sinners in God’s eyes. Instead it would be better to say, “I am righteous only by the blood of Christ”, or “I am a new creation in Christ.” If we still look at ourselves as sinners, then we are more prone to do what sinners do, namely, sin.
The other idea the last line of this verse touches on is our value or worth. We think our value is wrapped up in what we do, not who we are. The world takes this view. We are judged by what we do for a job, our behavior, our talents. We are so accustomed to being judged in this way, we can start to think that we can change God’s opinion of us by what we do. That is a lie that Satan would love us to believe.
Could it possibly be That we simply can’t believe
That this unconditional Kind of love would be enough
To take a filthy wretch like this And wrap him up in righteousness
But that’s exactly what He did
We have a hard time accepting the true message of the gospel. Or maybe we just forget it. God himself sent his son to make us right with him. He was motivated by his love for us, not our performance. We know that we are saved by grace and not works; we just have a hard time continuing to live our lives that way. We slip into performing for God. We think we can earn his favor. We don’t understand or remember that through Jesus we already have his favor; nothing can alter that.
The lyrics question if our unbelief in God’s powerful love causes us to doubt the truth of the gospel; that the gospel truly makes us righteous in God’s eyes. The gospel says we are completely transformed from filthy wretches to a righteous individuals. Do we have faith that what the gospel has done for us is enough? Or do we still cling to former ideas of what makes us whole?
No matter what they say
Or what you think you are
The day you called his name
He made you flawless
He made you flawless
I think this song addresses our struggle to accept who we are in Christ. We tend to think of ourselves in the same manner we did before we came to Christ. Before Christ, we evaluated ourselves based on the others’ opinions, whether society in general or those close to us. Unless we came to Christ at a very early age and have always had a true understanding of the gospel, we will continue to look at ourselves through the lens of those around us. Evaluating our worth in this way is a hard habit to break.
We also have to fight the lies that Satan whispers into our ears. He will tell us we are still sinners at heart. He encourages us to beat ourselves up over every failure. His favorite way to attack us is to accuse us. “See, you are a lousy Christian because you should have done (blank),” or “a good Christian doesn’t do (blank).” He wants us to focus on doing, not being. He wants us to believe that we can earn God’s favor by what we do. He doesn’t want us to remember who we are.
That is why the words of the chorus to this song remind us that we are absolutely flawless. That is who we are in God’s loving eyes. We also need to think of ourselves this way. We will be motivated to obey God for different reasons when we believe the truth of who we are. If we are flawless, then we will want to live up to who we are. When we do fail, we will remember that we have forgiveness just by asking for it.
It doesn’t matter what we’ve done. It doesn’t matter what we’ve been through. It doesn’t matter what others think about us. It doesn’t matter how they have wounded us. None of these decide who we are. When we placed our faith in the Son of God and his finished work on the cross, we became flawless. And that is what matters. Next time you are feeling down about yourself for whatever reason, listen to this song. It will remind you of the truth of the gospel, your remedy for fighting those lies you hold about yourself.