By LIBBO CROSSWHITE
Why we can choose connection over comparison
“I could run a thousand miles to win the race of life
But what’s the value without You?
I could write a thousand psalms to captivate Your heart
But more than offerings
Lord, You seek the depths of me
When You see me, You see my heart.”
– “Pride of a Father,” Hillsong Young & Free
We sang this song at church in early October. Since then, my family has probably heard this song a thousand times. The words have permeated into every fiber of what I think it means to be human, but most importantly, the song points me to my need for a Savior.
There is a God who loves you and me to the depth of our souls that He Himself has redeemed and made worthy by His grace alone. The gospel is that God created me, my sin separated me, and Jesus restores me each day. It’s sometimes too good to believe, but lately it’s been the hope I’ve clung to in so much uncertainty.
Jesus’ birth reminds us:
● In a world that tells you to hurry, seek Hope.
● In a world full of comparison, seek connection with Jesus and with other believers.
● In a world full of division, speak compassion, because Christ showed us compassion in the way He came to earth, spent time with His people, and ultimately took on our sin on the cross to defeat death.
It’s what this season is meant to do — remind us that because of Jesus’ birth we can stop striving, seeking, achieving. There is no contest for who can keep the law better; we all fall flat. There is only a Savior who gave us the greatest gift we’ve ever been given: hope.
Hope leads us to believe the truth that connection is more valuable than comparison. Jesus’ birth gave way to connection, and we no longer have to compare ourselves with the Old Testament law. I often think of my favorite hymn when students ask me what it means to pursue a relationship with Jesus. When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. It’s the subtle dullness of the world being “not quite right” that reminds us that God has so much more for us than earthly accumulation.
Are we teaching our kids this? That the grace of Jesus surpasses what the world can offer? That Jesus wants a real, connected relationship with them and not just behavior modification? Oftentimes I feel that we can find ourselves running a race that has already been won.
In a culture of rockstars, let your kids be ordinary kids. I often find myself placing pressure on my two to be a version of themselves, rather than the person God has called them to be. As I am figuring out for both of mine who that person is, I can trust that God is in control if I allow Him to be. As someone who spends a lot of time with teenagers, I know that the greatest gift we can give our kids is to tell them, “You are loved not for what you have or haven’t done, but for who you are in Christ.”
The last line of Revelation speaks to the heart of the gospel and the fact that God’s Word is for each of us, a gift of both knowledge and connection. Verse 21 of chapter 22 says, “The grace of Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.”
May the grace of Jesus be upon you. May it overwhelm your heart more than any to-do list, gift purchase or dinner preparation. May God’s grace be with you always, in all ways. He has made our way, prepared our table, and the question is simple: Will you follow Him? Will you radiate God’s goodness into your children’s lives? As we raise our children, may we not just ask, “Who are you becoming?” but rather, “Whose are you?” Jesus Christ’s birth means our answer can be, “The Savior has rescued me, and I am enough because I am His.”
As hard as it is to type these words, I feel confident that the Lord is calling me to a season that looks different than my last few years. I am stepping away from writing for this next season and want to genuinely thank Katie and everyone at MCL for giving me the opportunity to connect with each of you each month over the last several years. It’s been an honor and a privilege, and I pray God has encouraged you through stories that, I hope, ultimately point to His grace.
Libbo Haskins Crosswhite and her husband, Clay, live in Madison and attend Pinelake. They have one daughter, Mary Thomas, who is 8 years old, and a son, Russell, who is 5 years old. She is the high school guidance counselor at Madison-Ridgeland Academy and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.