Were Boaz, Ruth, Moses, David, or Rahab wiser, stronger, more honorable, or more deserving of God’s favor than you or I? No. They were just as unlikely to become heroes of faith as anyone else. We’re all born in sin and live in a broken world.
The Bible teaches us that we are responsible and accountable for our sins, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s devastating and convincing truth is that we are not only responsible for our sin, but we are powerless to keep from sinning again and again. We all need a Savior.
The truth is that we are both powerless and responsible. We are all destined for jail, and we have no hope of getting out because we are unable to do better. That is not only what the Bible teaches, it’s what any addict will tell you. No matter how many times someone with a compulsive behavior or an internal character problem tries to “just make better choices,” it’s not possible.
The Bible tells us that we can’t avoid our problems or change ourselves in our own strength once we are in them. In God’s justice we are held totally responsible and accountable for our trespasses.
And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. ~Romans 7:18-19 (NLT)
But our just God is also a God of mercy, and he does not leave us there. When we are thrown into prison with no chance of parole, God has already sent his son to the rescue. For it is exactly into that prison that Jesus comes and tells us he will break us out. This is Good News indeed. When we realize that we are both powerless and responsible—unlikely hero material—we get serious about seeking help from outside of ourselves.
We can choose not to be buried under their curse and instead find our personhood and faith in God’s words. Our actions will reflect that as we return blessings for curses.
Responding to LOSER labels with the personhood of Jesus will not only allow us to defy the curse, but to cover it with blessing and favor. As we grow in Christ, we will be able to remove negative labels and rise up from the prison in which they lock us in order to enter a place of healing. We all need Christ the Redeemer.
How do we enter healing? Get into the Word! In order to act as Love-in-Gloves,* we have to know—really know— who the Word is! We don’t get a deep, intimate understanding of someone without spending time with them ingesting their words, mannerisms, values, desires, and intentions. This is how we put on the new nature and become a new person in God.
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him.
~Colossians 3:10 (NLT)
*To learn more about Love-in-Gloves, see February 18, 2015, blog