Greater than Our Past and Shame
A lot of young men and women delay in fulfilling or decline to fulfill their calling and ministry because of one common thing: feeling condemned, worthless, and useless. They believe that they are not “the perfect man/woman of God” they think God looks for to use for His glory.
I used to believe that God made me as His masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10) – but I screwed things up as I do life. There had been a lot of “ifs”. If only I didn’t experience that, do that, or choose that, maybe I could tell a better story, lead His people, and speak of Him more boldly. I unconsciously disbelieved, that He wonderfully made me and has a purpose for me. Nope. Too late, Lord. Damage had been done. No way to fix it, therefore no way I can be of any good for You, Your Kingdom, and Your people. This was before I realized that with God, it had never been about what I do and did. It has always been about His words, which construct, shape, and define me. God publicly declared in the Bible, which billions of people read, we were made as His masterpiece and we still are, regardless of what we did and what life brought to us.
God declares you and me not guilty, but instead precious, and priceless.
The story of the woman caught in adultery best illustrates this. Jesus was teaching at the Temple (nowadays called the Church), when a bunch of religious “experts” dragged a woman who was caught in the moment of having sex with a man who was not/not yet her husband. These leaders pointed to a true statement that by law, the woman was guilty and should be stoned to death. Then, they asked Jesus’ opinion (John 8:1-6). As we all know, Jesus bent over and started writing on the ground. Some say He wrote the Ten Commandments, some say He listed the leaders’ sins, some say both. Who knows what He actually wrote. Either way, the impact was so powerful that everyone left without stoning the woman. Jesus asked the woman personally if anyone judged her guilty and she replied no. Then Jesus said, “I don’t judge you guilty. Go and sin no more.”
It is true that committing sex before marriage/committing sex with someone who is not your husband is wrong and a sin. However, it is a LIE if anyone , including yourself, tells you that you are worthless, useless, or condemned. You are forever worthy, purposed, and righteous.
It is true that becoming an addict to alcohol, drugs, unhealthy food, games, or porn is wrong and sinful. However it is a LIE if anyone, includingyourself, tells you that all these disable God to do great things for you and through you. God will bless you and use you for mighty things that no one who had never been in your position can do.
It is true that the memory and scar of your past, including the abusive relationship you might have on the past, remain. However, it is a LIE that all these will become a barrier for you to talk about how awesome a relationship built by God is! In fact, I have witnessed many people who had been in messy and abusive relationships used by God to heal many brokenhearted and mistreated people who currently are going through similar experience.
At any moment, especially when you feel like failing and ashamed of your past, remind yourself of this unconditional love statement Jesus declared for you.
My dear, I don’t judge you guilty.
And then watch carefully. Jesus is writing and leaving a message for us. Not on the sand where wind may sweep it off leaving no trace, but on the cross. Not with His hand, but with His blood. The message is this: Not Guilty. Precious. Priceless.
The Bible remarkably pointed out that “they were trying to trap Jesus” instead of “they were trying to diminish the woman’s worth” (John 8:6). The sentence underlines that our sins that anyone, including yourself, pointed out, were not directed to you, but Jesus. Thus, as Jesus died on the cross, He left an incomparable love letter to you and me.
My dear, they are testing My love for you. Let Me show them how much I love you. Let Me show them how much you worth. Let it be My cross, and not yours. You are not guilty. You are worthy, precious, righteous, and priceless since the day I crafted you until forever.