“I know you’re a mess.” That’s what God says.
He knows. He knows that every single one of us is a mess. We’ve messed up before, we’re messing up now, and pretty soon, we’re going to mess up again. God’s promise is that there will be no condemnation. There will be no shame. (Romans 8:1)
There are plenty of people who hear that and are incredulous. “Wait a minute!” they say. “No condemnation? No shame? How is that possible? You have to be punished for breaking a rule.”
And God says, “How did that work out for you guys the first time?”
He says, “That’s why I sent my Son to the ultimate punishment. He died! And now, because of His sacrifice, you don’t have to sacrifice lambs or sheep. You’re already right with me.
“You also don’t condemn people and stone them. Don’t do that! Jesus died for everyone.”
In His death, Jesus also took away shame. So now God says, “Don’t sacrifice your souls by keeping yourselves in shame. Don’t keep other people in their shame either. Don’t sacrifice your relationships by trying to control people. You’re never going to have control. You’re not!
“Why not just trust me instead? Trust that I sent Jesus because I know you people are a mess.
“If you give me permission to speak into your lives, then I can protect you. Trust me to protect you. When you mess up, I won’t punish you. I’ll help guide you. Some of my guidance will include discipline, yes. Sometimes there will be ramifications. But it won’t be because I’m mad at you. It will be because your choices can really hurt you. That’s why sometimes a slap on the hand is okay. The sting helps. It lets me tell you no, you don’t want to do that, and here’s why.”
God says, “Do you know what? No matter what you do, I’m still going to love you. If you will let me, I’m still going to speak into your life. I’m still going to guide you. I know you’re going to mess up again, and when you do, I’m going to say it’s okay. In your flesh, you have weaknesses. You have weaknesses that are unique to you. I know what they are, because I know what has happened in your life. That’s also why I know that you’re going to mess up. It’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect for me.
“If you can trust me and give me permission to speak to you, then I can protect your heart. That way, you don’t have to make the same mistakes as often. Hopefully, you won’t have to make them at all.”
In the wake of His passion and resurrection, this is God’s message to us.
You only have to allow God to do it.
See you Friday.