Your identity isn’t defined by failures

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Gracious God,
How great You are and how weak I am.
Over and over I fail, yet Your patience and forgiveness remains. May I never be stunned to the spot.
Instead, may I grow in the grace and knowledge of You.
Help me walk in Your light.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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Genesis 6:5-9

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Noah wasn’t some super do-gooder from antiquity. He wasn’t perfect. He never would be. In fact, a little farther along in Noah’s story, he even becomes a drunk (Genesis 9:20-21). And because God is all-knowing (1 John 3:20), God knew this too. Yet Noah still managed to find “favor in the eyes of the Lord” (Genesis 6:8). But he didn’t do this on his own. It was because of the company Noah chose to keep. Quite simply, “Noah walked with God” (Genesis 6:9c).

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I was grocery shopping the other day. It was nothing new, certainly nothing out of the ordinary. Yet everything was odd about Mark’s behavior. He was extraordinarily clingy. He was never more than a step behind me. His eyes were glued to my every movement. I even felt the gentle tug of his hand wrapped around the strap of my purse a few times.

“Mark? You okay?” I asked quietly as I placed a bag of oranges in the cart. “What’s wrong?”

“I just scared I do something wrong,” he replied meekly.

I asked a few more questions to try to hone in on exactly where this new fear was coming from. Had he already done something he shouldn’t have? Had something happened at school that I didn’t know about? Had he seen something that I hadn’t?

“But, Mark,” I said as I gently rubbed his back a bit. “You don’t have to worry. I’m right here. I’ve got you.”

“I no want to lose you,” he said as his eyes welled up with tears. “I lose my words. I lose you too.”

And that’s when my heart broke.

Mark’s desire to always do the right thing is sincere. But his struggles with short and long term memory loss is very real too. Mark needed my compassion as much as he craved my direction, too.

We can all walk with God like Mark walks with me. And, like Noah, we can screw up. We will sin. But we can also find favor with God by being select about the company we chose to keep. Fortunately, our identity no longer has to be the prior. Instead, we can be defined by the latter, by our relationship with our Lord.

There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 (ESV)

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Do you struggle to let go of past mistakes? God wants you to focus on your new future in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17). What are some specific things you can do to refocus on your new identity in Christ when regret threatens to creep in?

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