I was browsing on Ebay the other day, reading ads for used cars. I remember one advertisement in particular was for an older, worn-down vehicle. Somewhere in the description were these words: “As Is.”
“As Is” means the buyer agrees to buy whatever the thing is without the right to complain afterwards if it turns out there are some problems.
Seeing the phrase “As Is” is pretty common when browsing used car ads. But what stood out to me that day was my reaction to the phrase.
I had a negative reaction, like I knew I didn’t want the car. “There’s probably something wrong with it,” I thought to myself. “Let’s pass on that one.”
But that’s a lot like my life.
Often I struggle to accept myself and others “As Is.” I want to change, fix myself, or improve something. And I want others to do the same.
It can be exhausting.
But I don’t think this has to be our reality. I certainly don’t think it is our spiritual reality. I read once that C.S. Lewis was asked what he thought differentiated Christianity from other religions.
His response was grace.
In many perspectives on life, both religious and non-religious, our worth is based on what we do or accomplish. If we accomplish a lot of good things, we are thought of as a worthwhile person. If we don’t accomplish much, we aren’t worth much at all.
But Christianity teaches that God accepts us “As Is.” God doesn’t see me like I saw the used car ad, and think, “There’s probably something wrong with it. Let’s pass on that one.”
It’s the opposite. God loves and accepts us “As Is.”
My challenge for the day is to do the same.
So perhaps, just for today, take a break from trying to improve and become better. Relax and accept yourself “As Is.” Try not to be so hard on your spouse, kids, and co-workers. Try to love and accept them “As Is.”
You can get back to your self-improvement project tomorrow. Or not. Maybe the “As Is” life is the way to go.
Discussion: What is one area of your life that is difficult for you to accept “As Is?” What would it look like to bring love or offer grace to that part of yourself?