When I was a student enrolled at East Carolina University, I was a part of a small group that was truly impacting and changing lives. I was one of the prominent leaders who orchestrated this change. I don't say this to toot my own horn, I have a reason in mentioning my effectiveness. We met every Tuesday night and it was a blessing. Lives were inspired, encouraged, edified, and changed. Chains were being broken off of peoples lives. People were being filled with God's abundant love.
As a minster of encouragement and grace, you face a lot of opposition. I was ministering self worth, God's grace, and his restored image in every believer. God loves, he provides, and he heals. There was a student who had an issue with my teaching. His exact comment was, "Donte, you are a great teacher but you teach too much about how God loves us. You teach too much about how good God is. Do you really think God is that good?
We entered into dialogue for the rest of the night. I disregarded any homework that needed to be done. We got lost in conversation. The Holy Spirit was using me and speaking through me at a high degree of power. I ministered God's love to a broken person who truly needed to forgive himself. God already forgave him but he didn't want to forgive himself. This is the reason he opposed my teaching and encouragement. This broken young man struggled with an occurrence in his past.
He was burdened with a past sin. In honesty, it was a gross sin, one that involved his baby sister. For some time, his family disowned him. Soon they forgave him and accepted him. God already punished that sin in the body of Jesus. God forgave him. There was one more wall that needed to be knocked down. He didn't receive God's forgiveness, his family's , nor would he forgive himself.
It was brokenness that asked me those questions, in opposition. "How can God love someone disgusting like me? How can he forgive that horrible thing I did? How can God look at me and ever be pleased?" I told him, "God sees his Son. He sees the finished work of Jesus."
You see, we don't realize that when we are holding on to past guilt and hurt, we can't see the true goodness of God. We don't think he wants to heal us. The truth is that HE WANTS TO HEAL US. I talked to him about a story in the Bible:
40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”
And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
The young man burst out in tears. He never heard anyone teach him this before. My encouragement to you, my reader, is to Go in peace. God has forgiven you, your faith saved you! GOD IS REALLY THAT GOOD.