At nine years of age, my father took me into his office and explained a better way. After all, I was a sinner who needed saving. “Have you ever lied to your mom or me?” Or his infamous one, “You know when you sass (his favorite word) us? That’s a sin too.”
From a sordid introduction, he scurried to a respectable solution…“God sent his Son to die for your sins…” then to the sinner’s prayer. The prayer worked well until the cringing fingers of peer pressure began clawing at my otherwise moral fiber. For nine years, lying and sassing were among my tamer sins. Questions penetrated the hard shell of my rebellion. Was I an alcoholic, or just someone who drank? An addict or merely someone who used occasionally? A criminal or simply someone who sporadically broke a few laws? More importantly, a rebellious child of God or not one at all? Was I defined by what I did or whose I was?
I chose to believe what God whispered instead of what I felt. This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (II Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
Defining ourselves by past failures and mistakes, by filthy and unkind words spoken by or about us, or even by our failed attempts to live up to other’s expectations ensures misery. Freedom grows when we think God’s thoughts about us. Yes, I was only nine when I accepted Christ-and sure I’ve made numerous blunders, but Christ’s payment on the cross was enough to cover past, present, and future sins. Faith in him makes us his children and ensures complete redemption. We no longer suffocate under condemnation but breathe under forgiveness’ freedom. Don’t let other’s thoughts about you because of your present or past mistakes define your identity. Think God’s thoughts.
Prayer: Thank You merciful Father for covering all our sins by the blood of Your Son. Enable us to live in the freedom of forgiveness rather than in the chains of other’s opinions of us.
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