The late Christian author and speaker, Brennan Manning said in a message: “The day you surrender in faith in unwavering trust, in reckless confidence to the compassion of Jesus over your life, I promise you every trace of shame, guilt, remorse, self-hatred, self-condemnation will vanish from your life. Jesus is the transforming power of the love of God.”
Have you been transformed by Christ? Truly surrendered it all over to Him?
In my encounters with people, from time to time I will meet someone who struggles with intense guilt, shame, and self-condemnation. A majority of these people are already Christian and have already been baptized.
It’s a very real struggle. But sometimes I wonder if we perpetuate the struggle with the way we expect others to act when they become Christian? Too often we preach and teach a gospel of sin management, rather than that of Christ’s ultimate love and compassion for His children.
Romans 8:1-2 says: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
We cannot use this as an excuse to continue in sin, for we must repent and begin the process of becoming more Christ-like each day we walk with Him. But we cannot let our mistakes, slip-ups, and failures defeat us. We cannot let them get in the way of growing spiritually; or especially make us believe that God doesn’t love us the same.
“Quit keeping score altogether and surrender yourself with all your sinfulness to God who sees neither the score nor the scorekeeper but only his child redeemed by Christ.” (Abba’s Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)
Romans 8:38-39 says: “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
You are loved. Loved beyond measure. So quit attempting to “measure up” to a standard that no one can meet. We are sinful, imperfect, and fallen. We can become more like Christ as we grow closer in our relationship with Him. But as long as we’re here on earth, we will always make mistakes. Don’t let your mistakes define you; let Christ define you.
Manning concluded his message with: “Your Christian life and mine don’t make any sense unless in the depth of our beings we believe that Jesus not only knows what hurts us, but knowing, seeks us out whatever our poverty, whatever our pain. His plea to His people is, ‘Come now, wounded, frightened, angry, lonely, empty, and I’ll meet you where you live. And I’ll love you as you are, not as you should be, because you’re never going to be as you should be.’”
*This blog post was sparked after my wife and I bought the movie Brennan. We had wanted to see it for quite some time, but didn’t have the chance until recently. Although the movie isn’t the best I’ve ever seen, it’s filled with great Brennan Manning quotes. You can find out more information about the film HERE.