The praises and positives slip through our fingers like Jell-O. The shaming and criticisms, on the other hand, stick to us like Velcro and can feel impossible to shake off, no matter how hard we try. The serpent that tempted Adam and Eve, also known as the “accuser of the brethren” or Satan (Revelation 12:10), is the same deceiver to us—whispering constantly in our ears, “Has God really said…” (Genesis 3:1)?
Has God really said you are forgiven, blameless in his sight, and forever loved? Surely not! We both know that you are guilty, shameful, and worthless!
The serpent hisses these lies to our hearts constantly. This is why nineteenth century minister, Robert Murray McCheyne, said that for every one look we take at ourselves, we should take ten looks at Christ. Similarly, Martin Luther said that we need to hear the gospel every day because we forget it every day. These are simple ways of saying that most of us have the volume turned up on the serpent’s voice of accusation and bondage and turned down on the Father’s voice of pardon and freedom.
We must surrender to Jesus’ interest in reversing this for us.
“Forgiven, blameless, loved…all through Christ.” Volume UP.
“Shameful, worthless, a useless burden.” Volume DOWN.
One way to turn up the Father’s voice is to practice what Scripture calls “speaking the truth in love”(Ephesians 4:15) with each other. We must, as Ann Voskamp says, “Only speak words that make souls stronger.” As the beloved, blood-bought daughters and sons of God, we must use our words to call out the best in each other versus punishing each other for the worst. To speak the truth in love is to offer encouragement—to put courage in to a soul. One of our primary resources for this is carefully chosen, life-giving words that God has already declared over us all.
Only then will we dare to come out from hiding and rest in knowing we have nothing left to hide, nothing left to prove, and nothing left to fear.
Chameleons no more.
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.