Paying with Post It Notes

Today’s guest post is from Chris Lautsbaugh, who writes the grace-filled and encouraging blog No Superheroes. Chris pours out grace in all that he writes, as he knows the freedom grace offers us to move away from thinking we need to be superheroes, and instead allowing us to be true followers of Christ. I’m so excited to introduce Chris and his blog to you and I hope you enjoy! 

My wife and I recently found our house decorated with Post It Notes. Our son, Garett, had written “I Love You’ on the notes and attached them to mirrors, televisions, even in the toilet. We were so touched by our seven-year old’s tender heart.

My wife commented to him about it, thanking him. His response brought a sickening feeling to our stomach’s.

“I am paying you back for all the bad things I have done.”


This of course began a process of explaining our love was not based on his deeds and our forgiveness was already present.

It’s so hard when we see a performance mentality in our children, be it with Post It Notes or attempting to earn our favor with a perfect report card.

As hard as it is, it brings pause for reflection. As believers do we participate in the same type of exchange with God?

While not literally writing love notes to God, we structure our lives in some form of repayment. We strive and make attempts to change our karma by tilting the cosmic scale away from bad and towards good.

I think God might have the same response……


Think of the last time we blew it. We face a temptation to undo the wrong by praying extra prayers, reading more of our Bible, or doing some good deed.

We attempt to compensate for our wrong with something better, even if the act carries impure motives. Forgiveness becomes something earned.

Tipping the scales in our favor is something other religions of the world attempt to do, but not Christianity.

Grace is not earned by Post It Notes.
We cannot repay our debt through good deeds.

Grace is not a 20% off certificate.
Grace must cover it all or we need to make up the difference by something we do.

Is it any wonder we rarely embody peace and joy when our lives become consumed with performance and merit-badge earning?

In the Old Testament, you broke the covenant with only one mistake. Quantity of error was not the issue. Even a single mistake broke the standard of perfection.

God, who does not change, still requires this perfection.

How many Post It Notes must one write to meet this standard? I think we should buy stock in the companies which make these adhesive yellow debt-reducing items.

As followers of Christ, we can die to self effort and rest in the sacrifice of Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:21 reflects this with: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”

Righteousness means we have measured up to the standard of God through Christ. And, it came as a free gift!


As a Father, I pray for my son to be secure in my love.
I want him to acknowledge his mistakes and learn from them.
I hope to see him to apologize and move on.
I desperately desire him to know he is a good kid; that he is my kid.

How do you think God feels about His kids? What ways to do we attempt to “Post It Note” our way into God’s good graces?


Did you enjoy this post? Chris is giving away 10 copies of his book, Death of the Modern SuperHero: How Grace Breaks our Rules to the readers of Modern Reject.

To enter, all you need to do is sign up to receive posts from NoSuperHeroes in your inbox. Those who do will receive a free copy of his Ebook, “Never Enough”

In addition, 10 people will have their choice of a print copy or a Kindle version.


Chris Lautsbaugh lives in Muizenberg, South Africa. He serves with Youth With a Mission (YWAM), teaching and training missionaries and church leaders. Together with his wife Lindsey, they lead and steward training programs and ministries in and around Cape Town, reaching out to under privileged communities, planting churches, and meeting needs associated with the issues South Africa faces. They have been in missions for 35 combined years. They serve together with their two boys, Garett and Thabo.

Chris blogs at and has published a book on grace, Death of the Modern Superhero:How Grace Breaks our Rules. You can follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

9 thoughts on “Paying with Post It Notes”

  1. Jesus is and was the ultimate Father-pleaser. It has always been on the heart of God that we would be Father-pleasers. The simplicity of being a Father-pleaser eliminates all of our own efforts for His favor or approval or confirmation.

    To grasp this truth, a person must first acknowledge their sonship in Christ through the adoption of The Spirit. Otherwise, unfortunately, that person will continue to struggle, strain, and vainly stretch themselves toward His right hand for His blessing. Shoot, some folks are even attempting the old Jacob/Esau switcheroo by trying to wear the sonship mantle without being adopted.

    Anyhoos, my daughters are being raised to be father-pleasers. My bride and I are doing this by showing them how we bow to The Father. The only rule we have in my House is this: “Does this please my Dad?”

    Simplistic, true. Effective and relevant? Oh yes.

    1. You are so right that Jesus is the ultimate Father pleaser. The only one (perfectly)! Its the delicate balance in raising kids to obey and love as well as knowing failures are not fatal but can receive grace, forgiveness, and be used as learning experiences.

      Jesus said it best when he challenged us to love him, then obedience follows. Thanks for your thoughts!

  2. “Paying With Post It Notes”. This is a prime way of describing the Christian population that include on their resumes:
    * I pay 10% PLUS every payday,
    * I attend every church service AND special events,
    * I teach one Bible class of every type ready or not,

    IF a person did not have a healthy relationship with their natural father, they struggle with belief that their Heavenly Father is really better. Couple this with a bad husband or too often, a dysfunctional Pastor/ministry and the Post It mentality reigns.

    The Unapologetic Prophet said, “Does this please my Dad?”. To those never being able to please their Dad or Husband or Teacher or Minister struggle to answer, Yes to the question.

    Maybe this is the wrong answer but it is what I have observed for over 40 years.

    1. I think the main question for the activities you describe is not to analyze what these believers do, but why they do it. The Pharisees did all the “right” things with Scripture verses attached. But their hearts were far.

      Giving, church attendance, and Sunday School are all good things and are recommended. It comes down to the motives. Is it to earn the favor of God or as a response to it?

      1. Indeed. I find I can do nothing FOR my Jesus, but I do everything I do because OF Jesus. Big difference, yes?

        It’s because of Him, not for Him. For what does He need us to do for Him that He cannot do for Himself? He’s God, we’re not.

  3. Wow, this post is really good- I’m going to link to it from my blog. God’s love is unconditional, and his mercy is always here- it’s not something we earn. And maybe God is horrified that we feel like we need to earn it, just like a parent would be horrified that their child needs to “pay them back” with post-it notes.

  4. I would love to have Chris’ book. I already subscribe. Chris’ blog touches me everytime I read it. I’m one of those people who has always struggled with trying to be good enough. Thanks for the giveaway.

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