A couple years after I came to Charles Town Presbyterian Church, I painted my office. It had been this drab peach color, and I wanted something a little more exciting. I settled on two main colors – a muted yellow, and a dark navy blue. I also repainted the trim bright white. It’s interesting – hard-core WVU fans come in and say, “I like the WVU colors! Nice!” while others, realizing I am a Penn State alum, will say something like, “Ah, Penn State!” The truth is, I was aiming for both. After all, I’m a Penn State boy in Mountaineer country!
Near my desk is a part of the trim that I missed in the painting. It should be white, but all I can see is the peach. It bothers me to the extent that some-times I feel like the only thing I can see is that mistake.
Christians tend to think that way about themselves. Christ has redeemed us, called us to faith, and saved us. He imputes (which literally means, “to give”) to us his own righteousness so that we always have good standing with God. When God looks at us, he does not see us, rather, God sees the Son.
And yet, so often, we focus on the negative. We look at the one or two areas where we are struggling, and think something like, “God can’t possibly love me! I’m so messed up.” We forget that it is precisely because we ARE messed up AND God loves us that he saves us through the work of the Son, and not our own works.
In Psalm 139:14, David writes these amazing words,
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
At first glance this might seem like an arrogant statement. David has just listed the intimacy and knowledge with which God created him, and so this is more a statement of fact.
Each of us is a marvelous, exciting, unique creation of a holy God. We are called to redeeming faith in Christ. We may have committed the most heinous sins, yet, through the grace of God, we are forgiven. We may struggle with particular sins, but God’s mercies are endless. God does not treat us as our sins deserve.
Rather, he treats us with love, mercy, and grace. His forgiveness will never end. God does not see the mistakes we make; God sees those whom the Son has saved.
That is what and who we must focus on!