WHO ARE YOU?
WHO ARE YOU REALLY?
HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOURSELF?
Many don’t openly share it, but they affix labels to their hearts according to their sins or atrocities wreaked upon their lives. They quietly define themselves by sin- or scar-filled pasts. Looking at their personal history they become convinced no one will love them, they can’t effectively serve, or that they won’t be accepted because of “X, Y, or Z.” They won’t allow themselves to be loved because of guilt and shame that they carry.
This broken world trudges about with enormous burdens strapped to our weary backs. We convince ourselves that we are wholly alone, so sure that everyone would hate us “if only they knew”. Judging our old self so harshly drives us to isolate ourselves from fellow believers. Seclusion makes our service less effective. Guilt makes our hearts weary and afraid.
We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing… | Romans 6:6a
Dear one, the cleansing forgiveness of Christ is equally offered to all. That forgiveness is absolute; it covers anything that you could possibly bring to Him. Even if you are a believer who has fallen into a sinful habit for a time, He still offers forgiveness. Even if it is something that you are sure no one would ever forgive, He still offers forgiveness. Even if something happened that you couldn’t control, and yet somehow you feel marred by it, He still offers forgiveness.
HE WANTS TO TAKE THE PAIN OF THE PAST AWAY FROM YOU.
All of your sin, guilt, and shame can be done away with for the low, low price of … nothing. This offer, this wonderfully heavenly offer, has nothing to do with who you are, and everything to do with the cross.
LOVE LIKE HIS MAKES YOU WORTHY OF FORGIVENESS.
ACCEPTING THAT FORGIVENESS MEANS THAT
THE WORK OF SIN IN YOUR LIFE IS
“BROUGHT TO NOTHING!”
Attaching your worth and identity to anything other than the cross is not what the Lover of our souls wants for us! He loves us. When we love someone, our hearts ache when we see them struggling and in pain. I challenge you to imagine what the great God of the universe—the God with an endless capacity to love – feels when He sees us hurting.
For so long I saw myself as damaged, useless, worthless…all because of sins I committed or the terrible things that happened to me. I wouldn’t let it go. Frankly, for a while I either didn’t know how, or didn’t want to. Those labels I carried were how I defined myself, and I c(w)ouldn’t remove them, no matter how wrong they were. It was always so easy for me to tell others how forgiven and precious they were because of God’s love. Yet somehow, I could never manage to tell myself the same thing.
WHY CAN’T WE FORGIVE OURSELVES
THE WAY THAT WE FORGIVE OTHERS?
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. | Psalm 103:12
With the blood spilled by our Savior, the Lord took our sin and our scars and our shame away. It’s gone. It’s over.
No longer should we hate ourselves for the burdens that we carry. In saving us He offers to take the weight of those transgressions off our shoulders. He worked so hard to ensure that we wouldn’t have to carry that burden any more. He yearns to make our burden easy and light. But here we are, carrying it still. Either unwilling, or unaware of how to leave it with Him.
So if no one ever has, I’m here to tell you:
1. Your past, your pain is not who you are. It may feel comfortable to identify yourself by such markers, but your beautiful soul that God created is so much more than a darkly colored past.
2. Any changes made to your physical person, pre-or post-salvation, do not change your soul. i.e. Drug/alcohol addiction, loss of virginity before marriage (regardless of the way that it was lost), abuse, scars from self-harm, scars someone else inflicted on you, and any other atrocities I have failed to mention. None of this changes a soul that has been cleansed.
3. Don’t let what others might think of you or what you think others might think of you define you. Even if someone doesn’t like you, God does.
4. The moment you lay it at His feet and leave it there. From that point, it is His to deal with. You no longer must shoulder the burden of any of it. So, let it go.
5. You are a child of God. Before calling yourself “useless sinner” or “damaged goods” try calling yourself “His“.
Friend, I’m not promoting arrogance, or a continued life of sin in any way, shape, or form. This glorious forgiveness, grace and mercy is not something that should be abused or taken for granted. Use it when you need it. Don’t create circumstances in which you would need it.
But live in freedom. When you feel the desire to berate yourself, praise Him instead. When you feel the shame and guilt creeping up so much that you think you’re going to choke, remember how loved and precious you are in His eyes. Cliché as it sounds, don’t dwell on the past. It is over and done. Besides, you have something so much more wonderful to think on now.
Please try to remember daily that you are dearly loved by God. When you belong to Him, there is only ONE thing that He sees: a soul that has been cleansed. Anything else said of you, anything you think of yourself, anything you have done, anything that has happened to you—it can all be made irrelevant the moment you choose Him, and choose to leave it at His feet. When that happens, the best and most important thing about you is that:
YOU ARE A CLEANSED CHILD OF THE KING OF KINGS.
I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine… | Song of Solomon 6:3
About the author…
While consuming copious amounts of tea, Kat can be found working with her hands. Be it writing (poetry, recipes, short stories, and a book she’s been working on longer than she’d like to admit), cooking, crocheting, or restoring furniture made by her great-grandpa, Kat likes production. Her favorite days are the gloomy, rainy ones that she fills with more tea, time with God, and endless books. God is the love of her life, and it is the greatest joy of her heart to serve Him in her ministries to the hearts of others.
This article was originally published here.
Photo by Lamar Belina