Seeking Love In All The Wrong Places
by Shannon Hutchison
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‘To err is human; to forgive, divine” (Alexander Pope). The birth of sin has separated mankind from God, sent too many people to hell, and created shame and low-self-esteem to the human soul. God absolutely wants to “forgive and forget” our trespasses; but in order that to take place, we must first accept Christ as our Savior.
You did something wrong – something you cannot take back. The memories of that long-ago mistake haunt you everyday since. You try to rid yourself of the shame but cannot. You want to forgive yourself but the struggle is great. You subconsciously hope that the Creator of this world would just love and accept you in spite of yourself. Your self-esteem wavers because you are afraid He won’t. You don’t realize He will if you turn to Him.
Humanity began its existence without fault and with dignity because we were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). We believed we were good because in our Maker’s eyes we were (Genesis 1:31). Unfortunately, when Adam ate the apple, we lost our right to be considered “righteous” (Isaiah 64:6). Sin separated us from God, destroying the only relationship that can make us complete in spirit (Isaiah 59:2). Since then, guilt, shame, hell, low self-esteem, hatred of self, and frailty has plagued the hearts of the human race.
We, sometimes when we sin, believe we are bad as we constantly feel the burden of being a sinner. Similar to how Adam fearfully hid in the garden from God after he sinned, we too many times hide from the truth of our frailness (Genesis 3:8-10). We are also the disobedient child that subconsciously fears punishment in the form of life struggles from the Father of all humanity. We try to do right but too many times we falter. Sin also has brought upon us a hunger inside of us: an insatiable need to be loved, accepted, and considered good in spite of ourselves. Life is a struggle for all – all because of sin.
We look for remedy for our problems but don’t know where to go. We fall into the “performance trap” in hopes of being approved by others. We listen to those advertisements that tell us if we “wear their jeans”, “drink their beer”, or “drive their fancy cars”, we will be find contentment and be considered “cool” by others. Unfortunately, these “aspirins” don’t cure our inward pains. Only the grace of God can “heal our broken hearts” (Psalms 147:3).
Horace Bushnell once said, “Forgiveness is man’s greatest need and highest achievement.” Without forgiveness, the burdens inflicted by sin will never go away. God, the Absolute Maker of All Life, totally wants you to be free from the tyranny of sin; so much that He had his faultless Son die to be the payment for our trespasses (1 Peter 3:18). “If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us to and to cleanse us from every wrong” (1 John 1:9). Only those who confess, believe in Him and in the cross, and accept His gift of pardon will be free from the penalty of sin (John 3:16, Romans 3:23-24). These individuals will have peace with God (Romans 5:1), be considered free from condemnation (Romans 8:1-2), become one of His children (John 1:12), have everlasting life (John 3:16), receive God’s guidance for a newer, better life (Psalms 32:8) , be rescued from hell (John 3:16), and have a legitimate God-stamped reason to say no to shame and low-self-esteem (Colossians 1:22). “There is no greater achievement than to be loved, forgiven, and accepted by God”.
God forgives every sin – past, present, and future one – of His children (1 John 1:9). Again, we don’t have to fear condemnation-filled wrath from Him for any wrongdoing of ours (Romans 8:1). Once saved, our Father will choose to “remember our sins no more” (Hebrews 10:17). This doesn’t mean, however, He won’t try to correct our behaviors through compassionate-Fatherly discipline to make us into better people (Proverbs 3:11-12). It just means that “God is love” and His love won’t “keep any record of our wrongs” (1 John 4:8, 1 Corinthians 13:5).
God will never leave or forsake His children – even when we turn our back on Him (Hebrews 13:5). In the Prodigal Son parable (Luke 15:11-31), the son left his father to indulge in sinful pleasures. When the son came back to his father after making a shambles out of his life, the son expected condemnation and rejection from his father. Instead, the father with compassion welcomed his son’s return with a celebratory feast. God is like that father. “Nothing can separate us from His love” (Romans 8:38).
“We forgive to the extent we love” (Francois de La Rochefoucauld quote). God’s love is so great toward His children that He is willing to “forgive and forget” all of their trespasses. Talking to the Christian, why cannot you express the same compassion to your own soul amidst your screw-ups? If our omniscient God thinks you are precious enough to be loved like that, why don’t you?
Concerning the unsaved, God desperately wants to start an intimate love relationship with you. He wants to free you from all the anguish that sin has inflicted upon you. He wants to be your Father who will “never leave or forsake you”. However, love is not love if it interferes with free will. He created you with the freedom to choose your own destination. What you do with it determines how free you actually are. Please choose Christ before it is too late!
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God is Not Against You - He Came on an All Out Rescue Mission to Save You
...in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them... 2 Cor 5:19
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