You are worthless. What a hypocrite. You will never be good enough. Who do you think you are, acting all high and mighty? You are too d**n preachy. What a failure of a parent. You obviously don’t know what you are talking about. That wasn’t a good enough prayer. Intolerant. Unloving. Judgmental. Stupid. Unwanted.
Does anyone else ever hear words like these in their head? Yours may differ from mine, but I’ll bet the mocking tone is similar. Some come from people around us. Others come from the accuser of the brethren, Satan, from the very pits of hell. All of them sting, and if there is a small kernel of truth in them, the guilt and feeling of defeat only increases.
And that is exactly what Satan wants. Because when my attention is focused on myself, I am of no use for God’s work. We are called as believers in Christ to share the Good News with others, to love God with everything we have, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. That is the source of our hope, our joy, our contentment. I cannot love others the way they need me to love them when I am overwhelmed by my own unworthiness.
But be of good cheer! We are not the sum of our mistakes. Our “worth” is not found in the words or opinions of others. Once we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we are no longer bound by our sins. We are forgiven. We are redeemed. We are children of the One True King.
God’s words are more powerful than Satan’s. When I open up the Bible, I find all kinds of truths to challenge the accusations rattling around in my head.
You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). Before you were born, God had a plan for your life (Psalm 139:16). You can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). You were lost and have sinned, but are now found and forgiven (Luke 19:10, Romans 6:23). You are a child of the King (2 Corinthians 6:18). You were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 7:23). God loves you (John 15:9, 12; 16:27, and lots more)! No one is perfect, NO ONE (Romans 3:10, 23). Jesus is perfect and righteous FOR us (Romans 5). God wants you to be with Him always (John 3:16). And God will never leave you alone, or abandon you, ever (Hebrews 13:5).
But most of all, I am reminded of the truth that Jesus paid the price for it all. Anything I have messed up or done wrong has been paid for and forgiven. Do I make mistakes? Absolutely. But allowing Satan to beat me up with guilt and regret robs me of my joy, my hope, my ability to serve and to love others, and my simple desire to follow Jesus. I don’t want to wallow. I want to follow.
I cannot stand on my own merit. My righteousness is but filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). But I am forgiven, and my sins are no more.
“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” ~ Psalm 103:11-12
When I stand before God, He sees me as already perfected and righteous, hidden and clothed in the righteousness of His Son, Jesus. Justified. Hallelujah!
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” ~ Romans 5:1-2
If you have never accepted God’s free gift of grace ~ unearned, undeserved love and mercy and forgiveness; if you have not yet believed on Jesus and received His salvation offered to you when He died on the cross and paid the penalty for your sins and mine; if you have not yet experienced the freedom of forgiveness, the washing of guilt, the peace and hope found when surrendering the old self and putting on the righteousness of Jesus; if you don’t know for sure that you are going to be spending all of eternity with God, instead of separated from Him — come to Jesus right now!
“Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!” ~ Psalm 34:8