Look at Your Arm

“Look at your arm.”

My stomach dropped, and I caught my breath as I read the one line text response from a friend.  I blinked a few times and exhaled audibly as I let the words sink in.

“Look at your arm.”

180925_614351888580_4059497_nMy arm. My left arm. The inside of my left arm – the part that faces me when my palm faces the sky.  Three words – Hebrew – in black ink…a tattoo that is only two years old.  A Christmas present from my husband and children.  Three words to remind me when I forget the truth.

“Look at your arm.”

Just moments before her text popped onto my screen, I had sent many more than 160 characters to her about how unworthy I felt to be speaking at conferences and sharing encouragements from God’s word about how we are meant to speak into each others’ lives.  Even this blog sometimes ties me up because who am I to write anything?

An aside: Satan is called “the father of lies” because he attempts to deceive us into thinking we are worse than we are.  This leads to all sorts of guilt and shame issues and can really get in the way of our impact on the lives of others.  But what happens when Satan does not have to lie to us?  What happens when the truth is what binds us more than anything?  We have sinned. We have done something awful – maybe not ever telling anyone – and that is what Satan whispers to us to condemn and to defeat us.

This was exactly what had caused me to text my friend that morning.  I was not focusing on lies; I was focusing on something that I had done in the past. Even though I had stopped the sin, had confessed the sin, and even had sought forgiveness for the sin, it was still true that it had happened.

And that truth was not setting me free.

We all have something that we have done that we should not have – we are human.  Whether it is lying, cheating, stealing, committing adultery, harboring anger, or whatever it is, we have sinned (Romans 3:23) and there was to be ultimate punishment for that (Romans 6:23).  If not, Jesus would not have needed to die.  Easter would not be celebrated every year.

But Easter is not a celebration of DEATH; it is a celebration of life…resurrected life.

It is the truth of who Christ is and what He did on our behalf that sets us free.  He died and rose again.  And “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1a).  If I am to live as Christ intended when He submitted to the Father and went to cross, I must live in THAT truth – not the truth of my past sins.  No matter how much I would like to do so, I cannot go back and change history. The sin is done.  In the same way, I must focus on the historical truth that Christ died for me and you, and – in doing so – He set us free.

My history binds me in chains; His history sets me free.

“Look at your arm.”

The tattoo – engraved on my arm, paid for by my children, and designed by my husband – is Psalm 32:1a, “Blessed is the one whose sins are forgiven…”

Am I living in freedom today?  Am I living in blessing today?

The truth is that we are forgiven.

The truth is that we are free.

The truth is that we are blessed.

Is that how we are living?  If it is not, it is time to make a change.


Filed under faith

2 responses to “Look at Your Arm

  1. Thank you for your very powerful post with its thoughtful and motivating words!


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