I’m opening a new category on my blog called “Dear Reader.” This will be a lot like “Dear Christian Teens,” but it’ll hopefully have a more expanded demographic than just 13-19. I love to write in letter format rather than lecture. I want to share my heart as I would with a friend, not just tell you all what you should and shouldn’t do.
I’d like to do an occasional post where I can look you in the eyes and say “listen. I know you’re not perfect, and I’m definitely not either. Let’s figure out life together.” instead of writing a speech.
I want my posts, particularly my “Dear Reader” posts, to be freeing.
Without further adieu, let me bring you the first installment of “Dear Reader.”
You are not your past.
You are not what you have done or where you have been.
You are not the choices you’ve made.
You are not your image or accomplishments.
You are not defined by all the sins you’ve committed.
You are not your addictions.
And I mean it.
You are covered by grace.
You became covered by grace the moment you said “Jesus, I believe you can and will forgive my sins.”
You are covered by grace because you are loved by your Creator. Because He said, “I don’t want to see my child eternally separated from me.”
Grace is such that we cannot outrun it. We cannot out-sin it. We cannot get to a point where it does not apply to us anymore. We cannot earn it. Why?
Grace is a gift.
You do not deserve to be forgiven, and neither do I.
But Dear Reader, that’s why grace is amazing. We do not deserve grace of any kind, we do not deserve mercy, we do not deserve forgiveness. Grace is undeserved, and it is beautiful.
Grace says, “I have seen your sin and yet I love you. Yet I forgive you. I have seen your filth and yet I call you clean.”
God sees us as NEW.
He does not see our failures; He sees His Son’s perfection in us.
He does not call us on our screw-ups, on our deliberate sins, or on our flaws. He says, “I love you, and what you have done cannot change that.”
Dear Reader, you are not your past because God has washed it away.
You are called holy and blameless.
“But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
You are justified by His grace. God sees you the same as if you’d lived the perfect life and never did anything wrong.
You are not your past – you are a new creation because you are in Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Instead of beating ourselves up over and over about our sin, why don’t we see at as God sees it? FORGIVEN.
“As far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.”
So Dear Reader,
It’s alright that we’re not perfect, it’s alright that we’re messed up, it’s all right that we’re sinners, because grace covers us. We are held in the hands of a loving God, not an angry one.
You do not have to let what you’ve done define how you see yourself. See yourself as God sees you, and let JESUS define you.
You are new.