"I wasn't always this way," was her sad response.
"I just slipped one day and I never bothered to get back up. And I stayed down for so long that life piled its crap on me. I don't think I could ever be the same."
When I heard these words come out of my sobbing friend I felt empathy. I sort-of, kind-of knew what she was referring to. Maybe you don't even need to read the rest of her story to understand that feeling.
Either way, I have some good news for you.
Like my friend, everyone, especially those of us who grew up in a "faith-based" home, have a disposition to believing that love, forgiveness, and grace are given to the worthy and deserving.
The truth of the matter is that that belief is flat-out wrong!
Love, forgiveness, and grace are not given to the ones who deserve it because if that was true, God wouldn't be able to lavish that upon anyone because we are all underserving. Instead, God loved us first so much that He acted upon that love even though we were all still, yet, sinners.
Somehow, feeling guilty and condemned paralyzes people. The shame shackles people to destructive habits and whatever faith they have is usually based on wrong theology. It is a false covenant that most cling to.
Like my friend, maybe you've been trying to get up for a long time. Maybe you were so cheerful once, living morally even, and then you made some disappointing mistake or something horrible happened to you.
Maybe you moved on from it but only physically. Maybe you're still stuck emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. Even those can still affect your physical state.
Whatever it was it did something to you.
Are you reminiscing about it now?
It was established that God loved you so much that He proved before you would even ask for proof. And because of that He is loving us still, in whatever state we are in. His love is not up for sale. It isn't active to be earned. He just loves.
There's nothing you can do to get Him to love you anymore. He loved you so much that He paid the upmost price for you.
His forgiveness, then isn't based on what you can do, but rather it is based on what His son Jesus did for us on that rugged cross.