Your sin is not your identity. Read those words again. Let them soak into your bones, let them be a reminder to you that however low you’ve fallen, however deep you’re buried, however hopeless and far away from the Father you feel right now, He does not and will never love you any less.
Your past is not a marker of your future. Your mistakes are not the definition of who you are. Your failures and broken promises and faults are not tattooed into your skin, harsh and permanent.
You are more. More than the people you’ve hurt, than the acts of anger you’ve committed, than the ways you’ve come up short or neglected your faith or ran away from the arms that opened to you.
You are more than what people say about you, more than the negative way you see yourself, more than what you have done. Because in Christ, you are new. Every single day.
Your sin is not your identity. You don’t have to walk around with a badge sewn to your chest, with a sticky-note pasted to your forehead, with bitter words written on every inch of your clothes.
You are not your guilt. You are not self-hatred. You are not purposeless or abandoned. You are not too broken beyond repair.
This is not to say that your sin is irrelevant because all sin falls short of God’s glory. But this is to let you know that when you repent, when you seek forgiveness, when you ask the Father to grab you in His arms and show you how to begin again, you are washed clean.
In Christ, your past is forgotten. The mistakes, the wrongful intentions, the hatred, the evil, the terrible—all that is erased. You are given the chance to start over, to start new. You are given the ability to make things right, to fix broken relationships, to heal the people around you, to heal yourself.
See, it doesn’t matter how far from Him you feel right now. It doesn’t matter the length of time between now and the last time you prayed, or went to church, or read the Bible, or talked to Him, or even whether or not you feel you really know Him. When you decide to let go of your past and decide to trust Him, when you decide that yes, He is your Father who sent His son to die for the sins of the earth, when you decide to let go of all the weight you’ve been carrying and let Him into your heart—then you will realize that your sins have never been, and never will be your identity.
Being a son or daughter of Christ is your identity.
So let this be a reminder to you that in your brokenness, in your guilt, in your pain, in your regret or remorse or self-destruction—you are loved, you are forgiven, you are healed.
You are not defined by your choices. You are not labeled by your mistakes. You are not viewed as any less than God’s creation. And by choosing to follow Him and letting Him take your pain, you are made new.
Remember that there is always a chance to start over, to begin again, to let Him be your guide and lift your broken spirit. Remember that you can always work to mend what you’ve destroyed, to make something beautiful out of the brokenness you feel. Remember that life is worth living and in Him, you have hope.
And in His embrace, you can step out of the darkness and into the light.