“For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.” -Deuteronomy 20:4
Maybe you’re in a bad place today. Maybe you’re going through an illness, maybe you’ve lost your job, or you’re struggling with your faith. You may get into a place where you are saying bad things to yourself: “I’m not hirable, I’m going to be sick forever, I’m always going to be poor, my relationships are never going to go well. As Christians, we’ve also trained ourselves to say I am a sinner, I’m a wretch, I’m a horrible person. However, Paul, who wrote most of the New Testament, never at any point says to confess your sins. Confessing your sins is important — James tells us to do it and John tells us to do it — but most of the framing of the Gospel as we preach, as evangelicals, is based on the writings of Paul. And Paul, although he says we are sinners, he never says to confess we’re sinners. Instead, he tells us to confess that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. And that is very different. Some of us have had our most unique Christian experiences when we beat ourselves up and we reinforce shame. We say, “oh I’m so terrible, I’m so bad, I’m so this, I’m so that.” That’s where the enemy wants you! He is called the accuser of the brethren for a reason. When you accuse yourself and put yourself down, you are aligning yourself with the voice of hell. But when you say I am the righteousness of Christ, when you say I am chosen, I am highly favored, I am the head and not the tail — you are aligning yourself with what heaven says about you. You are aligning yourself with the citizenship of God’s city, which says you are the victor and not the loser.
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for choosing me. Help me to remember that every day, even when I feel like a sinner.
REFLECTION: How can you live like a victor and not a loser?