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Prisoners

October 1, 2012

I’ve been reflecting on Matthew 25:31-46 this week. In this passage, we are reminded that we cannot earn righteousness, but it is certainly clear that Christ’s desire is for us to have a changed heart and to show compassion for the needy. As I move through these verses, I stop where it reads, “… I was in prison and you visited me.” I’ve read it again and again.

I thought about being in prison. You do something wrong and you’re put behind bars to pay for your mistake. I get that. We all get that. Yet, there is another kind of prison that we are all trapped in from time to time – our own prison. We get trapped by our own guilt and we begin to punish ourselves for the mistakes that we’ve made. We label ourselves and we beat ourselves up. It’s that little voice inside our head that says, “You always blow up,” “You always get so frustrated,” “You are insecure,” “You will never amount to anything.” Sound familiar? We make mistakes and we allow ourselves to become an inmate of our own prison.

This is a terrible world to live in. We begin to feel we belong there. Our guilt and self defeating talk sink into our gut and our very being. It gnaws at us and we are trapped. That’s when we need our own visitor. That’s when we not only need our brothers and sisters in Christ, we also need Christ Himself to pay a visit. We get a free phone call don’t we? That’s when it’s time to call on Him, to ask for help as we try to climb out of our world of self condemnation. If we allow it, these labels begin to stick. Instead, if we allowed God to peel them off, one by one, we would be able to see ourselves for what He intended. If we’re able to allow grace into our lives, we slowly move away from our own prison and begin to see our mistakes not as what defines us, but what needs to be reshaped and molded. Christ, as our Potter, can help us to smooth the rough edges and make us into His work of art if we just make that call.

Today, I began to create another label for myself and stopped. I decided to call on Christ. I would much rather use my label as a call to action than a call to beat myself up… wouldn’t you?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 1, 2012 9:43 PM

    This is one of my favorite posts of yours, Ahab. Thank you for sharing your heart.
    – a call to action – what will you do?
    – a call for help – who will you call upon for deliverance?
    Isaiah 58:9
    Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
    You shall cry, and He will say, “Here I am.

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