Sunday, July 29, 2012


Imagine that you have just committed a crime of unspeakable evil and you were caught by the authorities. You're sitting in the courtroom waiting for the judge to deliver the verdict: Guilty or Not Guilty

But you already know the answer before the judge even speaks.


You committed the crime, you pay the price. As the death sentence is being spoken someone steps up and offers to take your place. Nobody is more shocked than you, especially given that the person willing to take your punishment as his own, is none other than the judge's only son. And he was the most stand-up guy you could ever meet, never breaking the law, never doing anything wrong. He was the model citizen and he just asked his father for your death sentence.

Now, you are no longer guilty, but innocent. Someone else is paying for the consequences of your actions as if they had committed the crime and not you.

But accepting your innocence, and living in the freedom of your innocence are two different things. Yes, the prison cell is open but are you still living inside?

We are humans. We are a far cry from ever being perfect while we live on this earth. But God doesn't require perfection, he just asks for progress. When we fall, we need to get back up. God forgives us and we can move on. Read that again.

Why do let ourselves dredge up our past and all the guilty feelings that go with that? If you've asked God to forgive you, he has and you don't need to keep punishing yourself for something that's been taken off your record and removed from you. That no longer defines you.

Guilt is not from God. This is something I've been repeating to myself constantly these past few weeks because it's not a concept I'm familiar with. Yes, I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sin and took my punishment. Yes, I believe that he offers grace and mercy and love and freedom. Yes, I believe that I have been forgiven and that in Christ I am a new creation, that when God looks at me, he sees Jesus and not my sin.

But I don't live like that. I live like I'm the scum of the earth, not worthy to even be entering the church doors. That I don't deserve to fellowship with other Christians who, you know, have it all together (because everyone has it all together but me, right?). That if they knew the struggles that went on in my heart they wouldn't want to have anything to do with me (never mind that this has been disproven countless times, I still FEEL that way every now and then).

So if I say I believe one thing and then act like I don't, what does that make me?

It makes me a hypocrite. And we all know how much everyone loves a hypocrite. That God's word isn't enough for me. That yes, he's forgiven me but I still have to punish myself because Christ's gruesome death on the cross wasn't enough for me. What? How can that not be enough!?

How can Christ's death on the cross not be enough for you?

Live like it, people. Live like you believe his death is enough to cover your sins and stop punishing yourself for past mistakes that you've already asked his forgiveness for.

We sang this song in church today and I am always so moved by the words. Our names are written on God's hands and our life is hid with Christ. God made an end of all our sins (including past, present and future sins) we only need to look to him. 

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
The great High Priest whose name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me
My name is written on His hands
My name is graven on His heart
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless Rightousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of glory and of grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God


  1. Amen! His work is complete and His grace covers every sin. Thank you so much for reminding me that just because I may seem to have it "together" according to certain standards, we are all equally needy of the great forgiveness of a very merciful God. And, as His children, we are all equal recipients!

    Blessings to you, sister!



    1. "We are all equally needy of the great forgiveness of a very merciful God."

      Amen, Naomi! That's really the key thing to keep in mind.


  2. So true Kristin! Jon was telling me that at church this morning (I didn't go) the speaker mentioned that he betrayed God all the time. It sounds reasonable but is so wrong!

    I fail, sometimes. No one is perfect, like you said. But I don't betray God regularly and if you think of it in relationship context you realize how silly it is. For instance, I hope they don't bring in a guy next to speak on marriage who says he betrays his wife regularly! I would be fine with someone who realizes he's not the perfect husband but regular betrayal? It's horrible.

    Or what if I believed that I betrayed Jon all the time? Would it draw me closer to him? No! If I believed that about myself then I would have run away within a few months and hoped that he would never find me.

    There is a huge difference between a person growing and making mistakes (the truth about us) and one person betraying another.

    Jon also tells about once when God asked him, "How dare you continue to judge someone that I have forgiven? Even if it is yourself?"

    Living any way other than totally, absolutely forgiven, is living as though Jesus' sacrifice wasn't enough for you. Or as though the power of his blood is not fast enough to absolve even a sin you just now committed. Punishing yourself for any sin or berating yourself for it is to say that Jesus did not suffer enough for your sin. It looks like humility initially but it is actually pride.

    Grrr! Sorry for writing a book. This lie that is so prevelant that we should still be guilty (at least some, right?!) after everything Jesus did makes me so mad! It sounds so reasonable and I wish it would go back to hell where it came from.

    I love Come Thou Fount too! =)

  3. "How dare you continue to judge someone that I have forgiven? Even if it is yourself?"

    You just pretty much summed up my entire blog post that took me a little over an hour to write in one sentence. I'm going to write this on my wall and maybe tattoo it on my hand so I can try to remember this truth in every moment of my life.


The tricky part about this, as you mentioned briefly is that at least some of us should still be guilty (of course, who is gonna want to believe that Hitler or Saddam Hussein has God's grace equally available to them? Ooh, that's hard for me...) and we want to preach outward conformity to rules and religion rather than inward heart change and freedom in Christ. 

    My perspective has changed so much on this and I feel like I'm finally getting rid of this lie that has invaded my thinking for so long and affected how I view everything. I don't know why we think that it looks more spiritual and more humble to beat ourselves up for our sin but you're totally right on the fact that it's a prideful heart. One that thinks God's death wasn't good enough and so we have to take it upon ourselves to finish the job so that we will be more holy or.... something. It's stupid and it really makes me mad too. 

    And I really like that you touched on the whole marriage/relationship aspect. Obviously, my knowledge and experience in that area is really limited but God things make a lot more sense to me when I can see the tie between God/Church and Husband/Wife. 

    Maybe we should just collaborate and finish that book! :-) Thank you for writing, I love hearing your thoughts and you can take up my whole page if you want.


Come Thou Fount always gets me with the line "Prone to wander Lord, I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love." But that's the beauty of God's grace. He's always waiting there for me, calling me back, until I return. <3