Clothed in the Righteousness of Jesus
By Brenda Rodgers
Monday, November 14, 2016
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV
Ugh! I did it again! I have to be the worst mom that ever lived! My daughter is messed up for life all because of me!
What's wrong with me?
These thoughts swirled around my mind as I walked out of my three-year-old's room. Moments earlier I had discovered the beautiful artwork she drew me during nap time. It was her most infamous creation yet using the white sheets on her bed as a canvas and a black pen.
Upon seeing the scribbles all over her sheets I lost it. There were groans and sighs and
…What were you thinking? Didn't I tell you right before I left your room NOT to write on anything but paper?
My daughter looked up at me with a sullen face that reminded me she is only three.
As I carried the sheets into the laundry room I felt beyond hope. It happened again.
Despite my efforts to show self-control to my daughter and despite my prayers for God to change me so that I don't react harshly, I continued to react in the same way over and over again.
The exasperated tone of my voice and my cutting words sent her messages of shame instead of love. The last thing I wanted to do was hurt my daughter, damage her self-image, or make her think this is the way God sees her.
I prayed and asked God to show me what's causing such a harsh reaction when I discipline my daughter. He revealed that the words and tone of voice I use with her are what I imagine God uses with me.
Despite how many times we sin, God never looks at us with shameful eyes. This is a hard truth to understand because our human relationships do not work this way.
However, when we sin, even for the hundredth time, God looks at us and sees Jesus. Yep, that's right, He sees Jesus.
Second Corinthians 5:21 says,
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
When we give our lives to Jesus, He exchanges our sin nature for His righteousness. Then our lives are hidden in the righteousness of Christ (Colossians 3:3, ESV).
How can it be that God makes us the righteousness of Jesus?
By Jesus' grace!
Jesus died on the Cross to give us His righteousness! Any other effort to do right is self-righteousness which is apart from God.
Reflecting on this truth gave me hope as I moved forward with my daughter. I took off my costume of shame and put on my clothing of righteousness. There was freedom to walk in my true identity - that I am clothed in the righteousness of Jesus - therefore I do not have to react with shame but I can respond in love.
Maybe you feel the same way - that no matter how hard you try you can't seem to get it right. Remember that when God looks at you He sees the righteousness of Christ Jesus looking back at Him.
Today take off your costume of shame and put on the clothes of righteousness.
Read and meditate on Romans 4:22-25.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your gift of righteousness. Today please help me to accept your gift and walk in the truth that I am clothed in the righteousness of Jesus. Help me to not react with shame but respond in love. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.
© 2016 by Brenda Rodgers. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Monday, 14 November 2016.