I saw this picture circulating on Facebook today, and it made me sad. Of course, I don't know to what religion this refers or if it means religion in general. So I'm not going to touch on religions other than to say two quick things:
1) Jesus disliked religious people the most. I'm talking about the Pharisees. The people who stood on the streets and said, "Oh, I am so holy! I do all the things right and I am so blessed because of it and you could be blessed, too!" Yeah, Jesus wasn't a fan of that. One of his friends was a prostitute. Enough said there.
2) The Bible says that the truest form of religion is taking care of the orphans and widows. That's it. The end. Being religious is taking care of people. Things it is not: Going to church, eating your wheaties, reading your Bible, praying. Those are good things to do because they help you (and other people), but doing it just because it's your "religion" is dumb.
Now that I clarified (or at least I hope so) the religion stuff, I want to let you know what God says about you.
You are more than a conqueror. (Romans 8:37) Does that sound like you're dumb or weak? Not even close. More. Than. A. Conqueror. A conqueror triumphs! You're more than that.
Your prayers are powerful. (James 5:16) It matters when you pray. It's important, not because it's your "religious duty", but because you can make a difference! You have the power. Does that sound like nothing to you? If you looked up the verse, you saw that in full, it says, "The prayers of the righteous are powerful." Oh, so you have to be "good" for this to work? No. Read the next one.
You are righteous, good, holy, forgiven or however you want to put it. Always. Because 1 Peter 3:18 tells us Jesus suffered for our sins once and for all. ONCE. For ALL. He did it for the person who believes. He did it for the person who does not believe. He did it for the person who made the above picture. Whether you accept it is entirely up to you. No one should push it on you because God doesn't, but it's there for free if you want it. Your sins are taken care of. Once and for all. You don't have to keep asking for forgiveness because once you are "saved", He forgets your sins. Literally, He cannot remember or see them. (Hebrews 8:12) Does that sound like He's calling you sinful and flawed? Now, if you do not believe, the Holy Spirit does show you your sin, but it's not to make you feel bad. It's to show you that you need someone to make that right, and it's not you. Nothing you can do can make it right because Jesus already did it.
He says you are whole. He brought you to fullness because of Jesus. (Colossians 2:10) When Jesus suffered, He became broken so we don't have to be broken. Isaiah 53:5 is some awesome foreshadowing of what He was going to do for us. Now it is finished. (John 19:30) So, broken? Check.
There's so much more God says you are that I'll probably make a part two to this post, but these cover all the lies in that sign. And for the record, God thinks what is under the science part of that picture of you as well, but I'll put that in part two.
Some "religious" people may have said those awful things about you, and if they have, I'm sorry. From the bottom of my heart, I'm sorry you have been hurt that way. But that wasn't God. That wasn't what He calls religion. I'm not saying you have to believe me. For the love of all things, look this stuff up yourself.
Just know that whether you to choose to believe or not, you are still deeply loved by Him. (John 3:16-17) He loved the world (every individual from the prettiest to the ugliest) that He gave His Son. He didn't come to condemn or make us feel bad. He would never say those things in the picture to you simply because that's not how He sees you. I also want to add that a lot of us don't feel worthy of one thing or another at times, or we don't feel like we're enough, but obviously you are. God says so.
If something doesn't make sense or you want me to clarify anything, you can leave a comment or email me at jessie(dot)mullins5(at)gmail.com
With much love, Jessie