This is part of the blog posts series I started, to show three things I believe we let define us, and one person whom is the only true one that can define our lives. Often, it is very hard for me to grasp why God defines me the way He does. I have a difficult time accepting that He finds me lovely, loved, and valuable. When I fail at relationships, when I fail at my job, when I fail my family- I really don’t want to believe God still looks at all of this and calls me beautiful. Guilt tells me I am hateful, angry and selfish. Look at all the hurt you have caused this week, it tells me. You did this. You should be ashamed. And I do listen, and I am ashamed.
But to believe those words of guilt is to deny grace. Grace means the unmerited favor of God. It is undeserved. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect, even if we do. We will fail, we will make mistakes, but we mustn’t let those failures define us. If we do, we will keep failing, we will continue our mistakes. This is a dangerous cycle. One I myself have been caught in for almost as long as I can remember being alive. Every day I wake up is a new battle to believe God’s word over mine. Most of the time my words win. But that doesn’t mean I give up the battle. God doesn’t. He fights for me through the night as my tears wet the pillow, He fights for me when I wake worrying about the day. Why? Why does He fight for us? Because He created us. He loves us, unlike any earthly love could ever convey. He defines us. He says, you are Mine. You are clean and made whole, holy and perfect. Not because of what you’ve done, but because of what I’ve done. Because I am holy, you are holy. Holy means set apart. If you are a believer, you are set apart for His purpose. If you are not, He still has a plan and purpose for you. It is up to us whether or not we decide to follow.
Don’t get me wrong. If we continue all our sinful ways and throw it on grace, using God’s forgiveness as a trump card, things will not go so well. We will continue to fight failures on our own terms. But we also must believe that failure is not the end. We get up and try a new way. We ask God what His purpose is for our day and we go on believing He can make it happen. I am bad at this. I like to make my own plans and do things my own way. I am stubborn. But in moments where I realize I have driven myself into the ground God lifts my head up and reminds me that I am not meant to live this life alone. I have value not because of what little good I do, but because He says so. Simple as that! Why must we worry about daily annoyances that don’t matter? The creator of the universe tells us we are valuable and have much to offer this world. But we must not let fear of failure hold us back. Today, I challenge you to be who He created you to be. Be yourself! And remember that He calls you loved.
“See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him.” 1 John 3:1