When I look at the faces in this collage, I want to ask each one, “Who told you you were naked?”
This is the same question God asked Adam and Eve when they hid from Him in the garden after committing the first sin (Genesis 3:11). Shame made them withdraw from God–but shame is a cruel trick of the enemy –never the punishment of God. It’s true we will (and should) feel convicted at times about our actions. How else would we know we need to make a correction to our path? God doesn’t want us driving ourselves off a cliff, so conviction is His way of getting our attention. But conviction and condemnation are not the same thing.
Conviction is the gentle, yet sometimes firm, voice of the Spirit pointing out an area we need to work on or be aware of. Condemnation, on the other hand, is a harsh, cruel voice that belittles us or our actions. Condemnation is from the enemy… never from God.
God has an entirely different message He wants communicated to you and I.
My Reason #3 (why I help others): You Are More Than You Think You Are
When God set me in front of my mirror in 1993, He didn’t say, “Daphne, you are the righteousness of God in Christ.” But He almost did. What I mean is, He communicated to me the same thing as if that’s what He told me. What I actually heard was, “Daphne, tell her you love her and you forgive her.” I was so embarrassed and ashamed of the girl in my mirror. Before God could ever explain to me how HE viewed her, I had to forgive her –because the problem wasn’t that God hadn’t forgiven Daphne — Daphne hadn’t forgiven Daphne.
Much later, after I healed from my own unforgiveness, God began to show me who I was in Christ. Specifically, He showed me 2 Corinthians 5:21, which says, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” In other words, if Jesus traded places with us, taking our sin upon Himself but giving us HIS righteousness, how could we be the same?
This is why just a few verses up, the Bible says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Can I just say it this way: You are more than you think you are (and I’ll add) and you can do more than you ever imagined! This is another reason why I do what I do. Once I understood these truths, I couldn’t keep it to myself. I HAD to tell others.
So when I see people with downcast spirits like the ones in my picture (whether at the mall, across the room, or wherever), my heart wants to first ask them, “Who told you you were naked (unworthy, unfit, or not needed)?” And then I want to tell them, “Well wherever that lie came from, let me tell you the truth! You are so much more in God’s eyes than you could ever imagine on your own– and because of His love and equipping, you can do far more than your little heart ever dreamed!”
And when they ask me, “How do you know that?” All I have to do is tell them what He’s done for me. God doesn’t have favorites. His Word is the same towards all of us! Before learning who I was in Christ, I could never have imagined any part of my life today– especially the peace and contentment of my heart, much less the doors He’s opened or the places He’s taken me. And this my friend, is what He will do for all His children!
As a believer, you are the righteousness of God in Christ. And that’s why I can confidently say: You are more than you think you are and you can do more than you ever imagined!