Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. (Ephesians 1:3-4)
One day my five year old sat in the corner, hugging her knees close as she sobbed. When I picked her up and asked what was wrong, she managed to choke out, “I don’t know how to tie shoes.” Some other kids in kindergarten could tie their shoes and she determined that she should be able to, too.
She didn’t realize it, but undergirding her frustration was the heavy weight of unmet expectations. I’ve been in the same spot as my little girl, not over tying shoes, but suffocating and pushed to the breaking point because I couldn’t measure up. Maybe you have, too.
Should can be one of the most insidious words in our language. It drips with shame, recrimination and judgment. “I should be over that by now.” “I shouldn’t eat that.” It speaks of burden and failure. “I should do this.” “I shouldn’t have said that.” It’s even worse when someone else piles the “shoulds” on you.
However, our Father God redeems the “shoulds.” Framed by His grace and borne out of His perfect love, “should” transforms. It’s about setting things in order. It’s His vision of our potential and redemption. Paul explains in the opening verses of Ephesians. “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love.”
Holy. Blameless. Loved.
It’s one of the spiritual blessings He bestows on us through Jesus Christ. It’s what He meant for us from the beginning, and because of Christ, that’s the way they’ll be for eternity.