2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
Anyone who has read one of my Cornerstone blog posts knows that I am highly efficient at beating myself up. It’s so easy to dwell on and be consumed by a sinful past. But that’s not how God views us. When we seek His forgiveness, accept the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us, and embrace the new life that we have in Him, we are a new creation. He tells us that “the old has gone, the new has come!”
When I read 2 Corinthians 5: 17-19, I am reminded that I am a completely new woman, not just a reformed or rehabilitated one. I am re-created as a child of God. These verses tell us that, in accepting His sacrifice and in believing in Him, we have not merely turned over a new leaf. We have begun a new life under the dominion of our Heavenly Father and with the support of His enduring and transformative love.
Unfortunately, this newness is something I often forget. As I read these verses, I am reminded that God has given us the ministry of reconciliation, and He has committed to us the “message of reconciliation.” For some of us, that message of reconciliation not only involves our relationships with Him and others, but it also applies to our relationship with ourselves. After all, if God is not counting our sin against us, why should we?
The tendency to beat ourselves up is one that will wear us down and become a barrier to our peace and our service to Him, as we think that no one like us is worthy to be His servant. But in 2 Corinthians 5:20, we find that, when He changes us, He also uses us. As we reconcile with Him and with ourselves, we gain the new privilege of encouraging others to do the same. This new reconciled me is now God’s ambassador, an authorized representative, and a messenger from Him to others. With love and compassion, I can encourage others to join me in being blessed by a relationship with Him. My reconciled me becomes a catalyst for others to commit to walking in faith. As God’s ambassador, I also have the responsibility to continue to strengthen my walk with Him by growing in my knowledge of His Word and in my faith in Him and His promises.
What a privilege you have been given, Lori! Stop beating yourself up! Let your past go and move forward in your new life, in which you are committed to growing in your knowledge and faith, and to being an ambassador for your Heavenly Father!
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise You and worship You and am so grateful that You have re-created me as Your child. I am new in You, and just as You love and have forgiven me, I need to do the same for myself. Dwelling in the past and focusing on a woman who doesn’t exist anymore just disheartens me, turns my focus away from where it should be … on You, and prevents me from making a difference for others. I am grateful, dear Lord, for Your grace and mercy, and I will embrace the new life You have given me through the sacrifice of Your son, Jesus Christ. Amen.