Monday, November 1, 2010

Not a "good, Christian girl"

I'm working through a book right now that is addressing some issues I faced when I was younger. One of the questions I'm supposed to answer in this workbook is, "Think about your secrets. Why would it be terrible if people learned the secret?" So in other words, I was trying to think about why I hid what happened to me and some of my behavior from people when I was younger and this answer popped into my head:

Because people would think I'm not a "good Christian girl."

Which immediately reminded me of a story I heard today of a pastor who was listening to a talk about sex at a youth conference. The speaker held a rose in his hand as he was describing various sexual activities that a person can partake in (ie. sex before marriage, adultery, etc. etc.) and as he was describing them, he was ripping a petal off the rose with each description. And by the time the rose began to look damaged almost beyond recognition he held it up to the crowd and said, "now who would want that?" And this pastor wanted to stand up and scream "JESUS WANTS THE ROSE!"

That is the Gospel. I am NOT a "good Christian girl." I am a tattered, broken, defiled rose and Jesus still wants me. He still loved me and picked me up and covered me with His righteousness and gave me a new name and a new identity- His own. My acceptance before God has nothing to do with how good or bad I've been, it has everything to do with Christ and His unmerited goodness and mercy toward me.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come... For our sake God made Christ- who had no sin- to become sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD;
my soul shall exult in my God,
for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation;
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.


amy marcy said...

my sister-in-law has named her blog and her ministry in abortion recovery after this very special bible verse. it agrees to what you are speaking of: the gospel in terms of being plucked from the garbage and being treasured as a jewel. i hope you love this as much as i do! it gives me goosebumps, for i was once "ashes".

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord
has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the
brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD'S favor and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on
them a crown of Beauty instead of Ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61:1-3

not a slave said...

The really, really incredible thing is that Jesus WILL make you a "good, Christian girl;" actually, those words don't even do it justice. They're empty compared to the truth: the truth is He will complete the work begun in you and make you no less than a "partaker of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). So he doesn't just overlook your sin or merely cover you with His righteousness--He actually takes you, this bruised, broken, ugly, defiled slave and makes you His little daughter, and imparts His righteousness to you so that you actually become truly righteous--become what you were made to be! Become one who can actually enjoy complete union with Him, the One in whom there is no darkness at all!

Think of it. You will become a partaker of the divine nature. This is so much better than being a "good, Christian girl." It is being a child of God, child of Light, who becomes full of light and righteousness herself because Light and Righteousness Himself is actually imparting Himself to her--as a husband to his bride--, creating in her His likeness.


"When a sunbeam falls on a transparent substance, the substance itself becomes brilliant, and radiates light from itself. So too Spirit-bearing souls, illumined by Him, finally become spiritual themselves, and their grace is sent forth to others." ~St. Basil

I'm telling you. We are children of God, who are being truly made into the likeness of our Father. Like little Much-Afraid--we have His promise. :-)

Carson and Lindsay said...

Hannah, thank you for writing things like this. It's exactly what I needed to be reminded of tonight! The gospel has been hitting hard lately. Jesus is so good. And He doesn't wait for us to change before He wants us... He takes us at our worst and changes and grows us into His beautiful image.