When I was a teenager in school I read The Scarlet Letter. I cannot remember all the details of Hester Prynne’s story but if you read the book you too may have walked away with one picture of that scarlet A embroidered on her breast. She was punished for her adultery and was daily reminded of her adulterous act.
In some ways I can identify with the shame. To carry that weight everyday of your life is unbearable. You are always reminded that you are viewed as someone who is unworthy and unclean. I lived a crazy, wild lifestyle before I became a Christian in 1970. I partied a lot, drank alcohol, smoked and lived a lascivious life. When I entered high school I felt like people viewed me in a similar manner as many did Hester Prynne. However, my letter was an S for slut. Sorry, if that shocks you but that is how I felt. Your reputation goes ahead of you and the things I did in my life before Christ certainly left many people judging me in this way. Today I am thankful that I was being pursued by the Lover of my soul before I ever knew He was trying to chase me down. There came a day on June 10, 1970 when all that changed when I had an encounter with the love of God for me and I exchanged my filthiness for Jesus’ righteousness. But that was just the beginning of my journey of wholeness.
For years I had other letters that I wore upon my chest. Yes I was saved but I was so wounded in my soul because of my childhood that for years I struggled with rejection, unworthiness, and control issues. My spirit was free but my soul was still bound. Today I am whole and walk in victory but it was a long journey to wholeness. I am thankful everyday for the grace of God that has brought victory to my life.
What about you? Do you have a letter that you wear? Maybe yours is a D for depression, L for lonely or S for shame. Perhaps it is an F for fear or U for unloved or unwanted. As in the story of The Scarlet Letter you may be constantly reminded of what has you ensnared. Always reminded that you are not free of the baggage you carry. You do not have to stay that way. Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.” We received salvation and our spirits become new but so many times no one explains that our soul has to become whole too. Knowing the truth of the Word of God is key to wholeness. We cannot be changed by our own strength but we are changed as we submit to a life surrendered to the Holy Spirit. We have to have a revelation that we become different as we begin to embrace the truth of what God has given through His son Jesus!
If I understood earlier who I was in Christ earlier I would not have suffered in my soul for so long. You don’t need to be defeated and struggle constantly either. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal, and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” It is God’s plan for you to succeed and walk in victory. It is time to identify what letter is pinned upon your chest and take it off! Replace it with a large V for VICTORY! God has a future and a hope for you. He loves you and He is chasing after you with everything He has because He loves you!
Make sure you make that V extra-large!
Living by the brook,