My own wretchedness has always been apparent to me.

As a result, when God shifted me from doing bad to good, I found myself saying things like:

This isn’t me. I am selfish.
This isn’t me. I am lazy.
This isn’t me. I know me.

But when I really examine my heart, there were many times this wasn’t true humility — I was simply lowering myself back into the grave.

Because I was ashamed. I know me. I spent so many years in the gloomy gutter. Bathed in His light now, I felt entirely out of place.

Life lived with God didn’t match at all, the picture of darkness I had grown so accustomed to. And so I shied away from embracing the new mould God had put me in.

Looking back, I often wonder what I would say to my younger self. It might be something like this:

So, kid, you feel unworthy? Well, there’s truth in what you feel. You are completely unworthy. And yet God has redeemed you by His grace! By this miracle, you are completely forgiven.

Now, you have to go from “I know me” — to “I knew me”. Or as Paul put it in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

So, kid, you feel unworthy? Well, there’s truth in what you feel. You are completely unworthy. And yet …

New man, you are forgiven.

Move on from the honest but unhelpful assessments of the type of man you were without God.

What matters more is who you’ve become: Loved, redeemed and resurrected. You have been made new in Christ.

This is who you are now.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Stop wearing the new clothes over the old ones. You’re bound to feel uncomfortable with two layers on in this country. Take the old clothes off! Go, get washed clean. Then look to Jesus, who’s standing right beside you.

Thank Him. He’s bought you brand new clothes — ones you should wear with pride.