“Stay off my property!”
I yell and clench my jaw as I slam my front door closed. I can hear the belligerent neighbour screaming unmentionable obscenities from our sidewalk. My husband stands there, his hands at his side, eyes wide as saucers. I shrug off his bewildered expression and head for my office, muttering under my breath.
“What a moron… always leaving his barking dogs outside. He got the three-thousand dollar fine that was coming to him. Jerk.”
I dive headfirst into my emails. It doesn’t take long for a sinking feeling to reach my gut and pull me overboard. I tumble headfirst into a rushing stream of guilt and condemnation.
I should have been more loving. I should have been more calm. I should have prayed for him more. I shouldn’t have surmised him to be the equivalent of a lavatory sponge. I click my computer shut and sink back in my chair. It’s time for a conversation, otherwise, these thoughts are going to keep me from anything productive.
“Jesus. I am sorry. You’ve told me a bazillion times to be patient and kind and not easily angered. You’ve told me to love people.” I feel Him beside me, listening as I continue.
“I feel awful. Why can’t I follow what You’ve said? I’ve got issues.” His hand touches my shoulder. I look up and immediately glance back at my keyboard. His brilliant eyes get me every time. They radiate compassion, tenderness, mercy, justice… all those things I failed to exercise today.
“Katie, do you know how I see you?”
I pick up the pencil on my desk. “Uh. Right now, I look like a complete failure.”
He leans over and looks at me. “Stop.” I’m a little surprised by the firmness in His tone.
He continues in the same manner. “Do you understand what I died for?”
I bite the eraser on my pencil and force my eyes to stay on His. “My sin.”
“Yes. But to be more specific, I died so when the Father and I look at you we see nothing but purity. We see you as though you haven’t done those things you regret. We see all the potential in you. We see nothing but someone we want near us forever. We don’t see all the foolish things you’ve done. We see a masterpiece. You are forgiven. Stop condemning yourself Katie.” He stands behind me again and I relax into my chair again. I close my eyes and allow His words to wash over me.
He takes my shoulders in His strong hands and squeezes them lightly. “It’s going to take practice but you’ll get there. Keep repeating the truth over yourself Katie-bug.”
So I do, “I am pure. I am loved. Nothing can separate me from the love of God. I am forgiven.”
As I type this, I am reminded of how often this kind of occurrence happens in my life. I am constantly bombarded by the idea that my mistakes make my identity. I miss the message of what Christ did on the cross.
Friends, if you find yourself caught in an issue of your own action, learn from it but do not let guilt consume you. Allow yourself the opportunity to move on and grow. Choose to see yourself as He does, blameless, pure and downright gorgeous!
You are forgiven and so dang freeeee!!
Happy Easter Monday.
With so much love,