And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
Tuesday was the first time I’ve written a blog in a while. Typically, I try to stay within a certain word limit; a blog shouldn’t be something that takes too long to read. The other day, though, I overstepped those boundaries, and the worst part about it is that I didn’t even appropriately tie it back to the Scripture I’d selected to go with the topic.
Last time, I talked about why Christians can still see the scars of past sin and why a struggle with sin seems to be a persistent thing. I believe that it centers on the idea of humility and the fact that this faith is about “by grace through faith” (Eph. 2:8). God did not first love us because of some reasonable amount of holiness that existed, therefore deeming us worthy enough to enter into relationship with Him. Grace doesn’t start with holiness on our part, and neither does it persist because of holiness on our part. It’s love, and it’s not something that we are able to comprehend fully. He makes His holiness manifest in us.
All of the scars, the baggage that we carry, can be a part of that work that He is completing in us. If you are following after the heart of God, anything that has occurred in your life can become a part of God’s handiwork. We talk about a God who redeems people, and the main way that we see that played out in day-to-day life comes from the way that God can take any situation from out lives, especially the sinful situations, and turn those experiences into ways that we help and encourage others who encounter similar situations.
Oftentimes, we tend to cover up our scars with either layers of clothing or layers of makeup. We want to hide the fact that we’ve been through battles. We don’t like to show how terrible experiences shape us, but the truth is, the scar represents victory. The scar shows that, even though you’ve been through war, you have lived to tell about it. Scars reveal experience. Scars say “I’ve been there.” Scars can and should be used to tell others about the strategies you used when you were under attack.
Sure, scars certainly can be ugly, but they should not be something that brings shame.