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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

You are more

I have had conversations in recent weeks with people who are struggling with a pretty common problem. They've been beating themselves up for past mistakes, unable to move on to what God has for them. I can identify with that. I did the same thing for many years in college, even after I had given my life to go into ministry. I confessed past sins. I committed to following Christ closely. But I was having a hard time forgiving myself for what I had done and moving on long after God had already forgiven me. I was reminded of those frustrating days of self-doubt as I listened to a song on the way to work this morning (many times other people say it far better than I can). This is from the band Tenth Avenue North. It's called "You Are More." If you find yourself thinking those very thoughts about your worth this morning, read them carefully.

There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide
She says, "How did I get here?
I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love"
But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight
She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's too weak to try
But don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

'Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

I think the issue for me lay with my perception of who God is. I saw God as someone who was watching over me--not out of love but out of a desire to catch me doing wrong. When that chance came, He would use that as the excuse to punish. The more I grew to understand the passionate love God had for me, the easier it was to see that He would go to any length that His character would allow to rescue me from my sin. (I do not agree with the recent teachings of some pastors that God will eventually allow all people into Heaven. He is, after all, still a God of righteousness and justice).

The bottom line is this. I am not worth what God did for me...and neither are you. Our worth comes from the fact that He did die for us and that He loves us deeply today. That's what makes us more than the sum of our pasts. A relationship with God is an invitation to move beyond our poor choices and to feel the deep, deep love of our Creator. For those who have chosen to receive that Gift, we have been remade.

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