I have made some pretty heavy mistakes in my lifetime. If I were to look back on them all & make a list, I would be buried in shame. The weight of my sins would crush me like a thousand tons. I know exactly how I have hurt God. I know exactly how I have let Him down, betrayed Him, & turned my back on Him. & in many of these dark moments, I have let other people down as well. My sins never just hurt God. I have betrayed friends & family members & turned my back on the people that have tried to love me. My mistakes are not unknown to me, & I’m sure that you can relate. I’m sure that many of yours are not unknown to you either.
Over the years, I have let my sin, failure, & mistakes define me — I acted immaturely in that situation, so therefore I am immature. I didn’t think before I acted, so therefore I am careless. I broke his heart, so therefore I am insensitive. I hurt my friend’s feelings, so therefore I am selfish, & the list goes on. So often we can let our sin project identities onto ourselves. These identities become what we think are true of ourselves because we think others view us through this lens. We think the people around see us the same way we see ourselves. We begin to believe the lies we hear in our heads, & over time they can become truths in our view of who we are. I am careless. I am insensitive. I am selfish. I can never change. No one will ever accept or love me because I am… (fill-in-the-blank).
But God says:
Because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:2)
The Spirit has FREED US because the Spirit gives us LIFE.
The Spirit does nothing else but give us LIFE. He doesn’t tear us down, call us names, or identify us by our mistakes. The Spirit frees us from all of these identities that we give ourselves, or let others give us, that are not true. With the Spirit living & active in our hearts & in our lives as followers of Jesus, we MUST look to Him to give us life. We must remember to only choose to believe life-giving identities that we hear in our hearts.
As hard as it is, we must also choose to let go of any identities that are not from the Spirit. These are the hardest to throw away sometimes, depending on how long we’ve believed them. These are also the hardest to let go of because sometimes we really agree with them too. But if they don’t give life, they are lies.
Having freedom from sin is a choice. We choose to embrace the power of the Holy Spirit & let Him breathe life into our bones. Or, we choose to believe lies, & struggle with sin all of our lives. We never forgive ourselves. We never accept His love, or love from anybody else, because we are dead set on believing that we are not worth it.
But, my darling, you are worth it. Jesus wouldn’t have died for you on the cross if you weren’t.
Yes, we are sinful. Yes, we will never be perfect. We make mistakes everyday, either publicly, for others to see, or in our hearts & minds where no one but God can even see them. Because of this, we know that we deserve every consequence that may come our way. I deserve to go to prison if I murder someone. I deserve for my friend to be angry at me if I hurt her feelings. We know the level in which our sins affect other people. But with repentant hearts, we can own up to our sin & accept God’s forgiveness every single time. When He died on the cross, He knew we wouldn’t just mess up once.
Sure, we wish we could be different or could have acted differently in a situation, & if we truly are repentant of our sin, we should respond this way. But God says that we cannot let these things define us. We are not our sins. We are not our mistakes. Our sin will not become our doom.