Tell your kids… EVEN IF

There was a commotion outside. It seemed like my son had made a big mistake and things were heated. He was all alone in a hard moment and my mama bear instinct was to bring him in, cover him in a hug, and get the truth. There I learned the power of saying EVEN IF.

Turns out after talking it out with his friend, my son was innocent and it was an accident. But my heart still ached for my kid. When others were calling him guilty, it broke his spirit.

It made me think of all the times we’re called out and shamed instead of covered in grace. And how quickly we lose our joy when that happens. All the times I should’ve covered others instead of speaking fast out of anger.

My mind fast-forwarded to him at 25 when he really does mess up big time. What if he loses a job? What if he cheats on a test? What if he thinks he’s beyond the grace and love of Jesus because others make him feel that way? But that’s people, not God. God doesn’t shame us. He absorbs our shame.

God doesn’t shame us. He absorbs our shame.

So I hugged him and changed all those “what ifs” to “even ifs”.

Right there in the kitchen, I hugged his sad little self, and said…. “I need you to know that someday you really are going to mess up, and you need to know that your mom and dad and God will love you still. We will love you even if you crash the car. Even if you cheat an lose your job. Even if your family has problems. Even if… Even if…”

The heaviness was lifted and his joy returned. He was able to move on because he knew our love was secure.

During this month when I ponder the fruit of the Spirit, joy, that we have in Christ a certain verse has pounded on my soul.

10 He does not deal with us according to our sins,
    nor repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
    so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
    so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
13 As a father shows compassion to his children,
    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him. (psalm 103:10-13)

God doesn’t repay us for our sins. He covers them in grace as we confess them.

God doesn’t repay us for our sins. He covers them in grace as we confess them.

The truth is the opposite of what we think. His love is steadfast and higher than we can fathom. His grace goes beyond our mistakes. So much so that He’s removed our sins and thrown them away. He is compassionate and forgives us EVEN IF we mess up big-time. He loves us even if others don’t.

That’s why we are joyful. Because no matter what, we have a Dad who’s got our back. Who will never leave and will always love and cover us in His grace as we come and tell Him the truth. So tell your kids EVEN IF, but also tell yourself. God loves me…even if…

 

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Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him.Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals on crosswalk.com

Silencing past regrets

Everyone has a sinful past. If you are living and breathing I would put money on the fact that you’ve said or done something you regretted. Something you wish you could erase. I know I have. Even though we are forgiven in Christ, sometimes it’s hard to let go of who we were before we started following God.

Recently, I wrote about the Proverbs 31 woman who is a beautiful picture of what a life can look like when God is at the center of every decision and every moment. But there’s another woman who is just as important to recognize.

She’s the Luke 7 woman.

We read her story in Luke 7:36-49. She’s the woman that led a sinful life and is weeping at Jesus’ feet, wiping and kissing his feet because she wants to let go of her sinful past and feel free. Instead of hiding her sin or staying in it, she seeks the Lord and lays her sin and regret right there for Him to take away so she can feel loved and whole again.

Instead of hiding her sin or staying in it, she seeks the Lord and lays her sin and regret right there for Him to take away so she can feel loved and whole again. 

She believes that this Jesus guy who everyone is talking about really is the Messiah, the one capable of wiping away everything and giving an undeserving person like her a new start.

And he does. Just like that at the end of the story, Jesus tells her that her sins have been forgiven.

“Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace,” Luke 7:50 NIV.

I wonder what this woman went on to do with the peace and forgiveness she was granted by the Savior of the world. Maybe people still treated her poorly because of her past, but she was able to walk with new pride anyway knowing that their opinion no longer mattered to her heart. She was right with God and no one could take that.

She was right with God and no one could take that. 

I wonder if she looked around her town for other broken women and told them the good news — that the grace Christ gave her could be theirs too if they believed and loved the Lord.

I wonder if her new excitement for life in Christ naturally prompted her to extended her faith and peace with the strength of the Proverbs 31 woman.

I bet in her new life she detested the sin that once owned her and instead gave every ounce of herself for the work of the Lord because she knew He was good and worth it.

Do you know the Luke 7 woman? If we have trusted Jesus as our Savior, she is us. She is me and you.

I’ve been that woman. The one who doesn’t know why on earth God would think I’m anything worth loving or forgiving, but so thankful He does. I wake up everyday the Luke 7 woman, wanting to be more like God and less like me, hoping in faith that I can start over again with a clean slate and live this life for such an incredible God. I love the fact that it’s possible to start over no matter what we’ve done or left undone if we find forgiveness at its ultimate source — Jesus.

I love the fact that it’s possible to start over no matter what we’ve done or left undone if we find forgiveness at its ultimate source — Jesus. 

I think we have to be the Luke 7 girl before we can be the Proverbs 31 woman. We have to accept God’s crazy love and forgiveness knowing we are imperfect and he is perfection before we can start living out love and forgiveness and peace to others.

Don’t let past sin haunt you anymore. Do business with Jesus today praying and laying the old you at His feet. Let’s trade in our regret for His peace and joy and love today. Let’s live free to be something completely new and lovely in Christ.