Some of you brush the teeth of your own worst enemy, every day.
This blog is focused on marriage and family life, but knowing how God sees you is central to your ability to love as a spouse or parent. Some of you are so hard on yourselves you’ve essentially become an enemy to your own happiness. Many of you have good and earnest hearts but the standard you’ve set up for yourself and your refusal to embrace grace is such that no one criticizes you more than you.
I want you to take five minutes to meditate on how God sees you.
Consider how God viewed Rahab. She was a prostitute, a liar, and her own countrymen could have called her a traitor. Yet God commends her as a “woman of faith” who gave a hospitable welcome to Israel’s spies (Heb. 11:31). She is commended for hiding two men, not condemned for sleeping with a hundred.
God doesn’t call Noah a drunkard who once passed out from inebriation and then cursed one of his sons out of his own embarrassment. Rather, God calls him “an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.” (Heb. 11:7)
Sarah laughed—she laughed—at the angel of God who told her that she would conceive a child in her old age. Did God remember her laugh? “Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered him faithful who had promised.”(v.11) She considered him faithful? Funny, I don’t remember reading that it went down like that. But God does.
Here’s the real shocker: “By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry ground…” (Heb. 11:29) By faith? These are the people who complained about food and water, who begged to go back into slavery, who made and then worshipped a golden calf, who rebelled against Moses—and God remembers that they crossed the Red Sea by faith?
We could also remember Job who, let’s be honest, murmured against God, cursed the day he was born, certainly complained, and seemed very impatient in the face of his maladies, yet how does God’s word describe him? “Remember the patience of Job.” (James 5:11)
How do you remember you? Is it how God remembers you? If you’re in Christ, God doesn’t see your worst or even your most petty sins. He sees the faith you’ve exercised. He sees the good works you’ve done. He sees the glory that He put in you by His Holy Spirit. He defines you by the good and the glory that is there only because He is there, but you get the credit all the same.
I want you to walk in the joy of forgiveness and grace, your rightful excitement that, as a child of God, forgiven by Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit, everything bad you’ve done is forgotten—gone!—and everything good is celebrated and remembered.
A joyful person walking in grace and hope can love much more than one who is tangled up with the guilt that Christ died to remove. Your guilt serves no one. Your self-condemnation offends God, it doesn’t please Him. I am of course talking to Christians here—once you are under the blood of Christ, there is no condemnation. To walk in condemnation is to call God a liar, and Christ’s work insufficient. One of the worst sins you could commit as a Christian is to define yourself by your sin.
Now, those of you who make yourselves your own worst enemy, think again: how does God’s word tell you that God remembers you and will remember you? How does God look at you?
Receive that joy, assurance, acceptance, and grace, and then go lavish all that on your family.