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Stories of Lives Liberated

Clarissa

Clarissa

Once a self-righteous “good girl”, blind to her own hypocrisy. Now a woman humbled and at peace because of Jesus’ perfect goodness.

 

Who I Was Before Christ

I grew up in a loving family with Christian values. We were very involved at our church and I learned a strong moral ethic from my parents. I excelled academically and rarely got into trouble. By the time I was a teenager, I had firmly formed my identity as a “good Christian girl”. I agreed that Jesus died for my sins, but in my heart I believed that my “goodness” endeared me to God. When I was 16 years old, I had my first boyfriend and quickly got into sexual sin. I spent months repeatedly asking God for forgiveness. I tried to convince myself that I was OK by thinking I was better than those I considered “bad people.” I have a vivid memory of chastising a friend for doing basically the same thing I was doing, without any awareness of my hypocrisy.

 

What Changed?

The summer I turned 17, the relationship ended and I began to feel dirty and ashamed. One day while cleaning my room, I felt especially ashamed and wondered how God could possibly forgive me. In that moment, I felt God speaking, “Your heart is dirty, but I will make you clean.” Suddenly everything I had heard growing up in church made sense. I understood that I had wronged God, not just through sexual sin, but in so many other ways: pride, meanness, gossip, judgment, selfishness, jealousy, people-pleasing and hypocrisy. My self-righteous “goodness” had actually kept me from God –by thinking I could live up to God’s perfect standard on my own, I had no real relationship with Him. I prayed, “Jesus, I believe that you died for my sins. I see now that I have wronged you and rebelled against you. I know that your death and resurrection means it is possible for me to be forgiven and experience new life. I don’t want to live on my own anymore –from now on I belong to you!”

 

Who I Am Now

I prayed to surrender my life to Jesus nearly 15 years ago. God has made me a different person! Having a real relationship with God and knowing that there is nothing I can do to gain or lose God’s favor has brought me so much peace and joy! God has slowly been teaching me that my goodness and badness count for nothing — Jesus’ perfect goodness is all that matters to God when He looks at me.
“God has saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus…who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:9-10 (The Bible)

 

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