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The Lie We Too Willingly Believe
I peel potatoes. I am pondering life. I am digesting information about those I know. Things I have heard. The ugly peels fall into the sink and the ugliness of my thoughts fall into a heap.
These thoughts pile up: People do the unthinkable. People will not change. People break their marriage vows. People have affairs. People abort babies. People live devastating, toxic lives of addiction and abuse. Sin. Horrible, awful sin.
The potato peels continue to fall from my hand and I'm suddenly stunned by the critical nature of my thoughts. What would I say to someone who would look me in the eye and tell me they had an affair? What would I say to this person who had the courage to speak their sin out loud? Who would be brave enough to speak to me - the one who is judging the masses as I peel potatoes in the privacy of my kitchen? I feel broken and ashamed. These who I have been judging and mourning, these unnamed and unnumbered sinners, they have another in their company. One I know all too well, for I look her in the eye every morning as I stand before the mirror. I live with her daily. I think her thoughts and speak her words and I battle her fleshly nature. I confess her sins and now, at the kitchen sink, I bow my head and breath a prayer of confession. I am judging and I am believing a lie.
I am believing that the sin defines us and that we are labelled and that is all we will ever be. But no! An emphatic 'no'!
I am a sinner saved by grace. I wrongly judge others and I am critical, but by the grace and forgiveness of God I am forgiven. He replaces judgmental attitudes with compassion and love.
Dear friend, when we lie, we do not need to remain a liar, when we commit adultery, we do not need to remain an adulterer. We do not need to remain caught and labelled by our sin.
In Christ we become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).
In Christ we are blessed with every spiritual blessing, we are chosen to be holy and blameless in His sight, we are adopted, we have redemption and forgiveness. We have the riches of God's grace lavished on us, we are chosen that we might be for the praise of his glory, we are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit guaranteeing our inheritance. (Eph. 1: 3 - 14)
In Christ I am "holy and dearly loved" and I am invited to be clothed "with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience" Col. 3:12.
In Christ I am not left in my sin. I am not named by my sin and I must not name others by their sin.
The lie whispers to me that I will always be as I am. That I will judge others, that I will be critical and unkind. The lie says that all is hopeless for me. When I listen to the lie the weight of the world weighs heavy on my shoulders. There is so much ugliness. The lost are so lost, the bad are so bad and the Christ followers sin too and we are hypocrites and broken, just like everyone else.
But I have forgotten. No, I have not forgotten. I have neglected to remember; Christ is the answer, the healer, the forgiver. To the lost He says He is "the way" (John 14:6), to the wicked He says, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Ezekiel 33:11.
He is the Shepherd tracking down the lost, carrying his lamb back to the fold. Whatever it was that caused the lamb to be lost whether it was a thicket of thorns, or a cliff or a deep hole, the Shepherd rescues. "He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." (John 10:3).
He calls us by name - not by our sin, not by the ugliness of our character - but by our name. The word that identifies us is called out by our Saviour inviting us into the richness of relationship with Him.
Stunning, life giving truth.
Believe it and live free.