If you have known me for more than a couple years, then you know that I used to be a lot bigger. I had struggled with being overweight for as long as I could remember. This all changed when I weighed in at the doctor’s office one day in May of 2015. I stepped on the scale, and the nurse said, “288.” My thought at that moment was, “There’s no reason for me to weigh this much.” I had always used the excuse of “having to be big for football” but my playing days were long behind me, and my hopes of playing in the NFL were crushed when I stopped growing at 5’9. That day I made the decision that I was going to lose weight.
As I write this, I weigh around 200 pounds. I not only managed to lose the weight but I have kept it off. I don’t say any of this to brag, but it’s because I see so many parallels between my weight loss journey and my walk with Christ. I could write several posts about all the similarities (and I probably will). The part I want to talk about today is how I view myself.
Even though I know what the scale says and I know that I’m wearing clothing sizes that I would’ve never dreamed of, it’s hard for me to shake the idea that I weigh too much. I even have a wife who continually tells me that I look great, but I still have a hard time overcoming that thought. It’s a daily struggle for me. I tend to view myself as who I was and not who I am.
That’s where I see the spiritual analogy. I think that we tend to view ourselves incorrectly. We often view ourselves as sinners, that we have made too many mistakes in life and we are defined by those bad decisions. If you are a Christian, then that’s not who you are, and we need to stop seeing ourselves that way.
The Bible is clear, the moment that you give your life to Christ, you were made clean. Titus 2:14 says, “He gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people for his own possession, eager to do good works.” We have been made clean of all our “lawlessness”, past and future. We have been made into Christ’s people, not through our works but through the work of the cross and resurrection. We need not view ourselves as sinners but as the children of God who were “bought with a price.” (1 Cor. 6:20)
When we become believers, we are no longer who we were. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away, behold, the new has come.” (2 Cor. 5:17) Who you were died with Jesus on the cross and you have been created anew as a righteous citizen of God’s kingdom. We need to wear our badge of citizenship with pride, not in what we have done but in what Christ did.
2 Cor. 5:17 is one of the most encouraging verses for me in all of scripture. Christ didn’t lay down his life for us so that we would spend our lives looking back at who we were before we met him. No, he gave his life for so that we can live in the freedom of being the beloved children of our perfect father. Viewing yourself any other way is both a disservice to you and a disservice to what God desire for you. We are never to become puffed up with conceit but humbly walk in the grace of God, always offering him thanksgiving for making us a “new creation.”
Just as I no longer weight 288 pounds, those who are in Christ are no longer sinners. Let us live our lives knowing that we have been “set free from sin” (Romans 6:18) and we should no longer define ourselves by our mistakes, but we should define ourselves by Jesus’ triumph over death. We have to choose each day which way we are going to view ourselves. I hope that we all view ourselves the way that our God does, as his sons and daughters who are more loved than we can even fathom.