Often when I am doing discipleship and pastoral counseling, I have people who admit to me that they think something they did in their past has screwed them up beyond God’s love. They married the wrong person, committed the wrong sin, experienced a divorce, didn’t resolve something with a person who has died, waited too long to get married, etc. The lie festering in their minds is that this choice has made them a failure, and not even God can look on them as anything else. They have predetermined the rest of their life from this failure, so what is the point of anything today?
Some continue to go through the motions of daily life, but it is with the overarching sense that it is all pointless because their lives are in shambles thanks to this thing that hangs over them.
In this torment, we allow a lie to swallow up life. We have got to call the lie what it is, and quit listening to it. You may not believe me when I say you cannot screw up out of God’s love—you cannot make Him quit you because of the decisions you have made. You can make yourself incredibly miserable through those choices, but He says that He loves you always and that there is nothing that can separate you from that love.
I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way, and came across the following excerpt which rocked me:
Believers in Christ are seen by God exactly as Christ is seen by God. I am who He is. I am
crucified with Christ, unified with Christ, identified with Christ. Full stop. Full story. I am
who He is. I am not the mistakes I have made; I am the righteousness He has made. I am
not the plans I have failed; I am the perfectness He has finished. I am not the wrongs I have
done; I am the faultlessness He has been. I am not the sins I have chosen; I am chosen by
the Beloved, regardless of my sins. In Christ, I am chosen, accepted, justified, anointed,
sealed, forgiven, redeemed, complete, free, Christ’s friend, God’s child, Spirit’s home.
Can you take whatever lie has found itself at home in your head and has dictated your life and violently pull the rug out from under it with this truth? You may not believe that you are God’s beloved, that He sings over you, that He likes you, that His love is not based on your performance or lack thereof, and that every day He puts you in the best place to know Him—but it’s all truth! I don’t want to live according to the lie that poisons my brain to His truth.
The truth is, the Christian life is not dependent on your strength. Thank goodness! You will make choices that aren’t good ones, you will screw up, but you cannot turn yourself into a pariah because of those choices. A pariah is an exile or an outsider—you are not that. In looking to Jesus for life, in accepting His amazing gift of sacrificing Himself for you, you have moved into the position of a child of God—His beloved. Will you choose to soak yourself in this truth? Even if it’s hard to believe right now, immerse yourself in the fact that there is nothing that can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus, and that He is at work in you to bring everything to completion.