How Do We See Ourselves?

By Staff Writer

Categories: Health

Issue:

How do we see ourselves? Are we worthy of forgiveness? And how does this affect healing?

Response (staff answer):

There was a certain man who was paralyzed. And some incredible men brought him to Jesus for healing. Instead of saying, “Rise up and walk,” like he often does, Jesus says, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven” (Matt 9:3 NIV).

To the Jews, sin and sickness were linked. If a person was sick, he must have sinned, and until his sins were forgiven, he would not be well. So the teachers of the law who were there and watching this interaction were certainly offended by Jesus’ words, since, to them, only God could forgive sins. Jesus knows what they are thinking, and after challenging them, tells the paralytic, “Get up, take your mat and go home” (Matt 9:6). So he obediently does what Jesus commands, which proves that his sins were indeed forgiven.

How often do we let our thoughts paralyze us and fear take hold of us? Maybe we think of ourselves as sinners who have made lots of mistakes. Maybe we listen to all the negative talk and spiral downward so much that we feel stuck, unable to move. So we concede defeat, saying that we’ve always been like this and that we just can’t change. We don’t even feel worthy of forgiveness.

Let’s change what we’re listening to and let Jesus’ healing words ring in our ears and in our hearts: “your sins are forgiven.” They’re already forgiven! It’s a done deal. We’re already worthy of God’s love. We’re already free. So why not believe it?

But wait. What about all those situations, all that history, all those years of acting a certain way? Forgiven. Wiped clean by the love of Christ. So we see ourselves as new, as free, as whole. And our life reflects that new-found view.

How do we get to that place where we can feel forgiven, trust that we’re worthy, see ourselves anew? We have faith. We don’t know if the paralyzed man asked the other men to bring him to Jesus or if the other men took the initiative. But we do know that Jesus noticed their faith (Matt 9:2). There was something in them that said this is not the way it’s supposed to be. These men had faith and trusted that if they came to Jesus, they would find healing.

And we can do the same. We can trust that if we turn to the Christ, we also will experience healing. It may require deep humility to let go of our old ways of viewing ourselves and God. It may take effort and work to silence the thoughts that would try to paralyze us. But, when rooted in God’s love, we do change what we believe about ourselves, and then our very lives change.

We can confidently agree with Paul: “When anyone is in Christ, it is a whole new world. The old things are gone; suddenly, everything is new! (2 Cor 5:17 ERV).

May your lives be full of forgiveness, of freedom, and of newness—inspired by the love of Christ.

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