One of my favorite TV shows is Avatar: The Last Airbender. Some might wonder why one of my favorite shows is an animated kids series. Well, it’s not because of the concept, storyline, or the voice acting, it was the messages of grace and redemption that are scattered throughout the show. Surprisingly, I enjoy the story behind the antagonist far more than I enjoy the story behind the main characters. As the story progresses, we find our antagonist, Zuko, trying to prove his worth to his father by accomplishing his goal, capturing the hero. All Zuko is concerned about is his pride and what his father thinks of him. What I really like about his story is his mentor, Uncle Iroh. Iroh is constantly showing grace towards Zuko whenever he messes up. Whenever Zuko says hateful things towards his uncle, his uncle still loves and accepts him back. Zuko’s uncle is always trying to steer him towards a more purposeful and meaningful life, a life that is about loving people and not centered around himself.
“If you look for the light, you can often find it. But if you look for the dark that is all you will ever see.” – Uncle Iroh
The love and grace Uncle Iroh shows Zuko is incredible. Anyone who watches the show will wonder why his uncle still sticks around. When I watch the show, I am reminded that I am Zuko and Uncle Iroh is my Heavenly Father. I am always messing up, whether it’s because I said something harsh, cheated the system, or I am too focused on myself. God looks at me, doesn’t tell me how worthless I am, and still calls me His beloved child. God shows me grace when I don’t deserve it. I deserve punishment, I deserve correction, and I deserve death, but God insists on loving me and showing me grace.
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 6:23
I think we get too focused on what we’ve done; we are too focused on our mistakes. God has already pardoned those mistakes and is looking at who we are becoming. God sees our future, not our past mistakes. I think we give ourselves the idea that God is angry at us because we are focused on what we did wrong. What if we started focusing on where we were going, who we are becoming in Christ, how God is stretching and growing us. I wonder how drastically our lives would change if we started rested in the truths God says about us, that we are loved, we are wanted, and we are His children. Would we carry our heads higher? Would we live life more confidently? Would we give ourselves more grace knowing that God isn’t counting our sin? I think if we started resting in the truths God says about us, our relationship with God would be more open, genuine, and real. Our relationship wouldn’t feel like a confession of wrongs, but an adventure with a friend discovering the joys of life.
“And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:18
What if we not only started seeing ourselves the way God sees us but also saw others the way God sees us. What if we began showing grace towards others when the world says they don’t deserve it? What if we started speaking love and telling others who they are becoming rather than pointing out their faults? What if we saw everyone as precious souls who have a little dirt on them and that’s ok because God is working on them too? Would that allow us to love deeper, forgive greater, and live life fuller? Would that allow us to encourage each other more, rather than compare? Would seeing ourselves and others the same way God sees us really change us? I believe it would, and I believe the change would be so dramatic that it will catch people’s attention. I believe that our acceptance of grace and our display of grace would turn a lot of heads and the only explanation would be God’s Divine and Sovereign love He lavished upon us when He sent His Son to show us that very grace on the cross.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
How often do you see your sin and think you are worthless? How often do you see your failures and believe you won’t ever mean anything? How often do you let Satan define who you are rather than your Creator? Step into His grace. Step into His love. Walk confidently knowing you are God’s beloved Child and He cares about who you are becoming and not who you’ve been. God loves you, He cares for you, and He sees who you are becoming. Walk in truth this week and rest in His grace.
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