Wednesday, December 18, 2013

No Condemnation

(via Pinterest)
I wanted to give up today.
Just yesterday, I was overwhelmed by God's goodness; how he was bringing me joy through the pain, but today? Today I could not find that joy. I even searched through my closet for it (well, actually for a prodigal cat). I overslept today, and I still woke up feeling weary to my bones. My head was pounding uncomfortably, my hands were feeling more than their usual ache, and instead of thinking to myself, "Well, I obviously needed the extra rest," I just felt guilt. I condemned myself, saying that if I'd have gotten up on time, I wouldn't have had to watch my niece in my pajamas; that if I were more responsible, I would have gotten ready and have done all the household duties before she even got here; that everything that went wrong was somehow my fault.
And now, I plug in my earbuds and tune Spotify to something that isn't the "you deserve more" commercials coming from the Christmas radio station that is blaring downstairs, because today, I feel like I deserve nothing. This is true, though. I am completely and utterly depraved in every way. You won't be hearing any prosperity message for me. But today, I found myself in the opposite extreme. Tell me if you know, where in the Bible does it say that since we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23), and so ... we all must tell ourselves every day how very worthless we are? It just doesn't make sense. In fact, the real answer comes later in the same book:
"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." (Romans 8:1-2)
I don't know about you, but I need to hear that daily. Read it again. We have no condemnation. The devil can say what he likes. People will say what they will. None of that matters, so long as in our soul, we comprehend this radical truth: no matter how messed up we are, no matter how many times we've fallen back into sin, no matter how late we sleep in, how depraved we are ... He still loves us with a love that brings life to the dead, that brings hope to the hopeless, joy to the despairing ... salvation to the shame-filled sinner.
I cannot wrap my mind around this. It is so easy to picture Christ dying for the saints; for those people who never seem to mess up and just reflect Him with every ounce of their being ... but He died for the sinners; the sinners inside each of us. He died for the very people who mocked His name; the ones who spit on Him in His hours of incomprehensible pain, agony, and sacrifice. As His very Father looked away, Jesus poured out His life and blood to save the ones who wanted Him dead. The beauty of this reality is blinding, breathtaking, painful.

So when the voices in your life tell you you're not worth it, know that they. are. wrong. Because the One who knows everything you've ever done; the only One who knows every one of your deepest darkest secrets, wounds, and fears; knows how depraved you really are ... is the very One that says you are in fact worth it; worth Him giving up His very last breath. So tell those voices that. Because there's nothing they could say that could ever change how much He loves you, because He couldn't possibly love you any more.