You, Made Indestructible
I've made a lot of mistakes in my life. More than most people, I'm pretty sure.
I was brought up with the notion that God punished you for your mistakes. I came to believe that when you stepped out of line, God was obligated to give you a holy whack upside the head. That's how it worked.
So when I made a poor decision, chose the wrong path or just flat out messed up because of willfulness, immaturity, or plain old stubbornness, I fully expected God's judgment upon me.
And even as a young adult, when I stopped believing in God for a season, I still had this haunting feeling of foreboding that I couldn't shake. When something bad would happen to me, there was a little voice that would whisper in my ear: "You deserved that."
Fast forward many years... I found my way back to faith and embraced a new way of imagining a loving and forgiving God that changed my whole life.
But despite all of my new understanding of God as the essence of love, and what that meant for me, I still had that little voice pop up in my head from time to time. Truth be told, there are still moments when I hear that evil, demoralizing whisper.
I truly believe that far too many Christians walk around with the nagging feeling that whenever bad things happen to them, it's because they're being punished somehow for things in their past. This has to end.
We need to let go of this false narrative and embrace a new way of seeing ourselves--through a Jesus-shaped lens, fashioned by amazing grace and never-ending love.
I read the most incredible quote by Richard Rohr the other day, and I'd like to share it in closing:
The Crucified and Risen Christ uses the mistakes of the past to create a positive future, a future of redemption instead of retribution. He does not eliminate or punish the mistakes. He uses them for transformative purposes. People formed by such love are indestructible.Don't you just love that last line? "People formed by such love are indestructible." Come on! May you find the strength to silence the accusing voice in your head that tells lies about who you are. May you discover a new way of living where you are not defined by your past.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.