One of my SD friends wrote something today, to the effect of she was who God made her to be. A simple statement, certainly, but not so easy to get your mind around. At least, not for me.
I am who God made me to be.
I think the problem I have with that has more to do with my self-perception than anything else. Why would God make me to be…this?
Aren’t I supposed to be a new creation? So much of the time I don’t feel like one.
And if it is true that God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all, then why is it that sometimes when I look into my heart, I see darkness?
Even today, knowing Christ, that is often what I see. It’s true that I’m a new creation, but it doesn’t take much for me to fall into old thought patterns, belief patterns, and even sin patterns. And it is certainly easier to believe negative things about myself than positive ones. It’s easier to believe the worst of God, because it makes more sense.
Grace makes no sense at all. Jesus didn’t die for us when we were at our best, or as we should be. He died for us at our worst, at our farthest from Him, when we needed him most.
Who would do a thing like that? Certainly not me. Who wants to do anything for a person that deliberately rejects them? You can almost understand it for people who are good, who do things for others at great cost for themselves.
That isn’t me. Because at my core, at the innermost depths of my heart, it is much easier to believe I am not a good person.
But is that really true?
Am I a bad person?
There are times when I feel like I am. Maybe I have a tough and stressful day at work, then I come home and snap at my kids or my wife, who are just happy to see me.
Someone who is good, who knows Jesus, would not do a thing like that.
There are times when I don’t give very cheerfully, either. It’s my money, and I earned it. I sweated for it, and lifted heavy things, and stayed up well past my bedtime.
A good person, a good Christian, gives and then gives some more. So why do I hold so tightly to the things of this world?
If I was made new and clean by the blood of Christ, then why do I feel dirty so often?
What does God say about that? I know that when I made my decision for Christ I “put off the old man.”
And was made a “new creation.” And even before that, I believed that God made me.
Didn’t I? And isn’t it true?
So if God made me, and if I am a new creation, then if I think I am a bad person, isn’t that like saying God made me bad? And does God make bad people?
I think that maybe God makes people good, and for whatever their reasons are, people make bad decisions about their lives–I know I did, for a very long time.
So that being said, and with the knowledge that I’ve “put off the old man,” why is it so easy to remember the old man, the one with the heart of stone?
The one with darkness and ugliness at his depths.
Hard question to answer, but I think basically, because it’s hard to totally surrender to God. It’s easy to remember the old me–and to feel like him. That’s what I knew for so long, and that’s why it’s so easy to slide back in that direction.
But because I know Jesus is there, there really isn’t any darkness. In Him there is no darkness at all.
I am in Him.
And there is no darkness–even if it feels that way every once in a while.
I think of the Chris Tomlin song “Indescribable,” and the lyric that sums up Christ’s love for us, his beloved Children.
“You see the depths of my heart, and you love me the same.”
He loves us the same, even if when we look at ourselves we see darkness. He loves us the same, even if when we look at ourselves, we see ugliness.
He loves us the same.
Because His perception is not ours. He sees us through timeless eyes not colored by lies about ourselves, and about Him.
He died for us while we were dead in our transgressions.
He died for us broken and disgraced.
He sees the depths of our heart and he loves us the same.