I recently finished reading The Cure by John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, Bill Thrall. (If you haven’t read this book it is excellent, and you really should read it.)
It challenged a lot of the ways I thought about myself as a Christian. Primarily the way I saw myself before God.
As much as I would like to say I have never let my performance affect the way I relate to God and the love He’s always giving me, it’s just not true. I do exactly that. I let my performance control our relationship. If I’ve been doing well in keeping His standards, I think, “Yep, I’m a pretty good Christian,” and I let myself feel His love. But if I’ve slipped up, and I’ve gone against His standards, I feel God’s love and I cringe and push Him away, because I’m a sinner and I don’t deserve His love. I’m ashamed of my failing and can’t bring myself to accept the love from Him that I so desperately want and need. Only once I’ve done better keeping His standard, can I let myself feel His love again.
But in doing this I’ve missed out not only on His love but also on a fuller relationship with Him because I keep pulling back. Every time I could’ve come to Him in repentance and experienced His unconditional love, I instead saw my sin as a wall of shame between me and Him, but this is a lie. My sin has never been between us.
His love and relationship with us as His children does not hinge on our performance. That’s right. You don’t have to perform. You don’t have to be without sin to be worthy of His love and the relationship He is offering. See because, though you and I do indeed sin, you and I are not sinners. We aren’t, because of Him.
2Cr 5:17-21 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Let me flip this “therefore” and “for” statement around.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
He has made us righteous and sees us as righteous. The question is, can you see yourself, the way He sees you? Shame does nothing but trap us in a lie. He has made us righteous, and He loves us no matter what sins we commit in our process of maturing in that righteousness.
Come with me, and let’s experience the love that truly is unconditional.