Whispers of Faith

A Lie Someone Told You

The “Ides of March” Series … Prompt #4: “A lie someone told you.”

They told me not to think about it. They told me to think bright, positive thoughts to boost my self-esteem. They said to avoid the unnecessary guilt, to ignore the ugly and broken. Who wants to be depressed over how bad they are? Worse still – they told me there wasn’t anything to feel guilty for – that I wasn’t really that bad of a person.

That’s because they only see my face. God sees my heart.

And He knows that all of that is a LIE. A 21st-century, motivational, positive-thinking lie that draws us away from the everyday-needed Gospel. Told even by some well-meaning Christians. Believed by myself all too often in an attempt to feel happy on the busy, stressful days.

But the truth? If we don’t acknowledge the sickness, how can we ever hope to get better? If we don’t see the ugliness, we have no hope of it ever becoming redeemed and beautiful. I NEED to come face-to-face with my sin daily – putrid though it may be – not so I can wallow in guilt all the day long, but so that I can weep with joy again at the free gift of salvation I’ve received. If I ignore the fact that I have something to be saved from, then I make the Gospel a lie. And Christ died for nothing.

We make His death on the cross cheap when we avoid owning up to the sin in our lives. We also make it cheap when we settle for depression over it – “there’s no way out for me – nothing could cover what I’ve done.” Are we saying Christ’s power over sin and death isn’t strong enough? Really – do we think our sin is stronger than Christ’s mercy?

No, the reason for the cross is to bring us true joy and long-lasting freedom. The tinsel-thin happiness the world offers us in feeling “good” about ourselves won’t satisfy. We were not made to feel good about ourselves – we were made to rejoice in Christ and what He did for us on the cross. Then my guilt and shame will disappear – but only after I’ve looked the ugly straight in the face and said, “Yes. This is who I am. This is why I need Christ.”

Ann Voskamp said it perfectly: ” … the deeper I know the pit of my sin, the deeper I’ll drink from the draughts of joy.”

He says – “See your sin. Acknowledge it and repent. Then let go and let Me wash you clean and make you whole.”

And just like always, joy overflows, not from the lies of the world, but from the truth of my Savior.

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