Good News for the Achiever // Phil 3:4b-13

Curious that we spend more time congratulating people who have
succeeded than encouraging people who have not.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson

For many, résumé building is far more than a professional activity. It is a way of life. Adding bullet points to our running list of accomplishments feels like salvation, a way to assuage those haunting doubts of our self-worth. With each new achievement, we add a layer of protection, more proof that we matter, more distance between us and the terrifying prospect of being a nobody. But for all the successes our strengths can produce, they cannot erase our frailty. And when the pressure of racing to credential ourselves finally outstrips those frailties, we burn out. We crack at our weakest points and the whole building crumbles. It is the very fear of such a moment that drives us toward it at breakneck speed. Who would you be if your résumé were suddenly a blank page? To answer that question on your own is to know panic and self-deceit. But God has an answer for us: Who you are has nothing to do with what you’ve done. Breathe. Beloved children have no need for résumés.


CALL TO WORSHIP

Brothers and sisters, let us gather to worship our Lord Jesus Christ.
We come to worship the living God, giver of Life. 

He is the alpha and the omega; through his resurrection we have received our salvation. 
It is right to give Him thanks and praise. 

We praise the one who has defeated death, so that we too might live. 
We praise you Lord, defeater of death. 

We come to give thanks to the ruler of all, the Almighty, 
the King of All Kings, whose love is perfect and has no end. 
Thank you Lord Jesus. May we come to worship with glad hearts. 
Let us lay down our burdens at your feet.

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Lord Jesus, we confess that we have made an idol of achievement. 
Our lives are a never-ending scramble to be seen as perfect – 
perfectly successful, perfectly happy, perfectly curated on our social media.
Congregation: Lord, remind us of the truth. Remind us of your call in Jesus Christ. 

We are a people weary with fear of failure.
We forget each day that this life is temporary and that our true home is with you, Lord. 
Heavenly father, humble our hearts and remind us that we are your children. 

We cling so dearly to our list of accomplishments. Help us to count them all as loss. 
Remind us of the power of your resurrection, Lord, 
that we may share your sufferings and become like you in death. 

Lord, you are a good and gracious King. Your achievements have no end, 
and all creation is in your hands. We have no need but you. 
Thank you Lord Jesus.
You have conquered death so that we may forget our earthly successes and follow you. 

You alone are our salvation.
Amen.