Who are you? How would people describe you? What are you like? Strengths and weaknesses? How would you describe your nature?
Now think about this: think about yourself when you are entangled with sin. How do you act around others? What do you think about them without saying? How do you act when no one is around? What do you do?
I know when I sin, and especially when I was enslaved to it I became a very different person. Of course there were the usual first effects of sin, like guilt and depression. There was also more than that. I lacked a lot of confidence in myself and what I could do because I couldn’t even keep myself from sin. Self hatred grew within me, and I couldn’t understand how others could love me. I especially didn’t understand how God could love a washout like me. How long could I keep coming to Him and repenting for the same sin over and over? I felt like He might angerly swat me away or abandon me because I couldn’t shape up.
I became irritable and impatient towards people. I would also think not good things about them. My mind seemed like a wild horse, terribly uncontrollable and very frustrating. I knew what I wanted to do, but kept losing battle after battle of my own mind. I continued a cycle of sin that really disrupted my life, how I thought about people, and left me defeated and frustrated.
A lot of this was kept within my own mind, and it was rarely expressed. I found where it came out the most was with my family. It’s a shame, but it’s much easier to get frustrated with them without meaning to. It revealed my heart wasn’t completely right. I’m a complete hypocrite if I can’t treat my family with the same patience, love, and respect that I treat everyone else.
As you can see, under the law of sin I was a very different person. My countenance still makes a sudden change when I mess up. Now I want to ask you this: think about how you are when you aren’t sinning and are focused on God. How do you act around others? What do you think about them without saying? How do you act when no one is around? What do you do?
Here is where in losing our life we find it. Under the law of sin, we aren’t who we should be. Under sin, we become cowardly, arrogant, deceptive (even to ourselves), prideful, jealous, lack care for others, think bad thoughts, and do bad things. At best we perform far from the potential that God wants for us. Sin becomes ugly blight on something God wants you to polish and keep clean so that you can truly shine for His glory.
Whenever we lose our life, we find who we really are under Christ. Under sin, we are but a shadow of who we truly are under Christ. Yeah, we are still the same person with the same personality, but we aren’t being used to our full potential. Those things God has blessed you with aren’t being used like they should be. God has blessed you with so much, and He wants to make those gifts completely excellent through His strength.
When lose our life, we see changes and begin to like who Christ refines us into being. We see that in our own way, we bring joy into other people’s lives. It’s not for our own gain, but for God’s. He uses our gifts to their true potential, and we begin to be overjoyed at God’s work through us. We begin to gain confidence, not because of ourselves, but because of the God that is burning within our bones. Our pride dies, we know that our gifts come from God. Our depression begins to wane, we can rest in the God of all comfort. Our spirit lifts and our mind is brought out of the fog brought on by sin. We begin to see things more clearly and understand what we couldn’t for so long. The curtain begins to lift as we turn from our sin.
Our love for people grows, and we seek God’s eternal purposes instead of our temporal purposes that aren’t in line with His will. I notice that my attitude towards my family and people begins to change. I have much more patience towards them, I care for them so much more than I naturally do. My gifts overflow with the love and strength of God, and I’m perfectly happy it doesn’t come from me. Apart from Him, I don’t even know how I could do anything that I am doing. I am loving more and more being dependent on Him. He takes care of me and everything I need.
My mind is under control, because I have enslaved it to Christ. When it decides to buck like a bronco, I have the power through Christ to now calm it down, instead of it getting beyond my control. I understand so much more of His love, and feel like He cares for me and loves me. I now know that has never changed, and those feelings of His abandonment was from the doubt of sin. I have confidence in myself because I am confident in Him who is in me. I am able to do things I never would have thought I would do. I find that my potential under this new law, of grace, is so much more than under the law of sin.
As I look at this, I see I am a very different person when my mind is focused on Him instead of focused on worldly things and sin. I gain so much more when I decide to let my sin and everything else go, because that allows Him to use me to the potential that He designed in the first place. I become a new man, so much better than before. When I lose myself, I gain so much more.
Let Christ define who you are. Do not let sin do the job that the Creator of your soul knows best. Sin blemishes and taints the beauty that is designed within you to shine out into the world. Become who you were meant to be. Lose your life in order to gain it.