“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.” Ephesians 1: 3 – 6
God’s thoughts about us are very different than our own narratives about ourselves. Ephesians 1:4 says that God “chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight.” As my last post said, many of us are formed by a lie that believes, “I’m a dud of a human being.” This lie produces serious consequences in our lives. We live believing that every failure is more proof of how flawed we are. We live with inferiority complexes, feeling hopeless about accomplishing anything without messing things up along the way.
However, God’s word tells us something mind-boggling happened before the world was even made. God concluded – “I’m going to do what it takes to make humanity blameless before me. I cannot have a relationship with fallen people unless they can actually somehow stand blameless before me, but I love them so much I will do what it takes to make a way for them to be blameless and able to stand in a safe relationship with me.” Now, we have to ask, “How could the God who knows every mistake I’ve ever made look at me and say I am blameless before Him?” According to Romans 3:25 Jesus’ sacrifice on a cross and resurrection from the grave has permanently satisfied God about the issue of our sin and wrongdoing. This means that when God looks at us He consistently thinks, “My Son paid the price in full and anyone who accepts His sacrificial gift is blameless before me. Due to the sacrifice of my son, I’m now totally preoccupied with who you are and not with what you have done!” In other words, when God looks at a believer He sees a child who is blameless.
Awhile back I heard a brilliant observation from William Paul Young, the author of “The Shack.” His personal life-story involves deep oceans of shame masked by lots of religious activity, and sophisticated coping skills that protected him from ever facing his rotten self-perception. During a live interview he observed, “When you carry a lot of shame you don’t know the difference between an observation statement, and a value statement.” In other words, when we carry a lot of shame and someone communicates an observation about us, all we hear is a personal value judgment about us as a person. In this way a simple observational statement such as, “You forgot to take out the garbage” is heard by a heart loaded with shame as a judgment pronouncing, “You are a loser!” This explains why we’re often unreceptive to any loving direction from God’s word, God’s Spirit within us, or God’s people. When we’re poisoned with shame, truth spoken in love sounds the same as an offensive personal slight. The truth must set us free from this captivity. Scripture tells us that Jesus has won and reserved a permanent “Blame-Free-Zone” between God and His people. This blame-free zone is a place where no matter how badly we’ve failed, God will not make personally condemning value statements against us as His people. God no longer sees anything wrong in a believer, instead He sees what is missing. This blame-free zone is a place where no matter how guilty we feel we are, God will not pronounce us “losers.” Instead God will gently remind us there is no longer any condemnation, and invite us to explore the internal realities that are leading us into sin rather than into life. Does this encourage you? Send me your thoughts.