The Great Accuser

A few weeks ago, my husband and I met his daughter for lunch. Her boyfriend is going through a difficult time, and my husband recommended that he listen to the song, “You are More” by Tenth Avenue North. I am posting the lyrics for your convenience:

“You Are More”
There’s a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she’s wandered
And the shame she can’t hide

She says, “How did I get here?
I’m not who I once was.
And I’m crippled by the fear
That I’ve fallen too far to love”

But don’t you know who you are,
What’s been done for you?
Yeah don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she’s been given new life
But she can’t shake the feeling
That it’s not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she’s rehearsed all the lines
And so she’ll try to do better
But then she’s too weak to try

But don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

‘Cause this is not about what you’ve done,
But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You’ve been remade
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.

Songwriters
MIKE DONEHEY, JASON INGRAM

Published by
Lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC  (emphasis, mine)

As my husband talked, he began to get tears in his eyes. He said, that now, even after almost 8 years of the worst choice of his life, he still sometimes has a hard time looking at himself in the mirror, knowing all the hurt and pain he caused, all the lives he nearly destroyed. I couldn’t help but cry, because I have seen his struggle. I have seen him deal with hateful, spiteful, angry words from the other woman, I have seen him wrestle with forgiving himself, I have seen him struggle not to accept the words of condemnation from the great Accuser (Revelation 12:10; John 8:44). You see, I have seen my husband be broken. I have seen the tears. I have heard the anguish. I have seen him repent and try to make things right with everyone involved. I have seen him struggle, perhaps most strongly, with forgiving himself. And I have hurt for him and wept with him.

You see, we all have a past. We all have done things we regret. We all have made choices that have hurt others and that have had severe consequences. No one has lived a life they feel completely good about. If there is someone who thinks they have lived a life like that, I feel sorry for that person, because they are far worse off than the rest of us who know we’ve messed up: “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins” (Ecclesiastes 7:20, NIV). Further, we have all made choices as to how we will deal with the hurts and wrongs done to us. We can either allow those things to make us stronger and better, or we can allow those things to make us hateful and bitter. I’ve witnessed both, and I can testify that the first approach is the better one. Hate and bitterness will eat you up on the inside. It does no good to hold on to such feelings. You don’t control those feelings. They end up controlling you. I’ve seen that happen, too.

Regardless of what the other woman (or any other person) thinks about my husband, God has forgiven him and God accepts him. Her opinion is of no consequence really. Her opinion does not dictate who my husband is, nor does it accurately reflect who he is. Her opinion is her opinion–it is not the truth. What Satan, the great accuser, whispers to us, to condemn us, is nothing but lies, and those who stand in accusation against those whom God loves, are liars, too (John 8:44). What matters is what God says about my husband. God rightly dealt with my husband, convicted him, and my husband repented. He will regret his adultery to the day he dies, of that I am certain. But, when someone confesses their sin, when they cry out to God for forgiveness, when they turn from that sin, God is faithful to forgive that person: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9, NIV)

“‘I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the LORD’; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah.” (Psalm 32:5, NASB). In his mercy, though, God goes far beyond what many of us do.

He remembers the sin no more: “For I will forgive their iniquities, and remember their sins no more” (Hebrews 8:12, NASB).

“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins” (Isaiah 43:25, NASB).

“‘for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the LORD, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more'” (Jeremiah 31:34, NASB).

He casts it as far as the east is from the west: “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12, NLT). Unlike the north and south, the east and west never meet.

He throws it into the sea of forgetfulness: “Once again you will have compassion on us. You will trample our sins under your feet and throw them into the depths of the ocean!” (Micah 7:19, NLT).

He washes it away with the blood of Jesus: “‘Come now, let us settle the matter,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'” (Isaiah 1:18, NASB).

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7, NIV).

When the accuser, whether by himself or in the form of a person, comes before my husband to remind him of his sin, God responds to my husband’s heart by asking, “What sin?” He reminds him, “The blood of Jesus long ago washed that sin away. It is gone forever.” Let us not forget the admonition from the apostle Paul: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1, NLT).

“What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (Romans 8:31-34, NLT).

Unfortunately, I, too, was once an accuser. I heaped judgment upon my husband with my words. I made him feel like the lowest piece of scum on the earth. I was angry and hurt, but that is NEVER a reason for making others feel like they are worthless. I needed to be reminded at times that I, too, am a sinner, a sinner saved by God’s marvelous grace. I, too, have grieved God. I, too, have done things for which I am ashamed. It’s very easy when we are hurting to lash out against the one we see as being responsible for our hurt. However, what God wants us to do is to be kind and loving, to be forgiving, and to be gracious to that person. No, it is not easy. It goes against everything in our nature. But, it is the Jesus way. Jesus said to pray for those who hurt us, who use us, to bless them, to be kind to them (Matthew 5:38-45; Luke 6:27-36).

Does it make sense? No. Will you feel like doing it? No. Will it change anything? Maybe, maybe not. Is it hard? Absolutely. But, it is good and it pleases God. Part of loving someone the way God loves us is by not keeping a record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5). Can you imagine what it would be like for YOU if God kept a record of all your wrongs, your sins, your transgressions? There would no hope that any of us could ever be forgiven. We could never be accepted by God. Jesus asks us to do nothing more than he did, and he did not and does not keep a record of wrongs. On the cross, in the most excruciating pain imaginable, looking out on a crowd who falsely accused him, illegally tried him, whipped him, beat him, spat on him, mocked him, cursed him, and hated him, Jesus cried out to His Father, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). That’s a powerful challenge. I have not endured anything close to what Jesus endured, yet He forgives me. That’s pure, perfect love. That’s the kind of love God wants us to have for each other. We will make mistakes, we will not always love as we should, but we should be striving to love others God’s way. We should be growing and walking in love every day, until it is perfected in us in glory.

We each have a choice. We can be condemning and hateful or we can be loving. We can be like the devil, the Accuser, or we can be like Jesus, the one who keeps no record of wrongs. We cannot be both at the same time. The way of love is harder, but it is so much more liberating and peaceful, and it is a glorious example of the heart of God. Be like Jesus, even when that person keeps hurting you, even when that person may not see their sin, even when that person has wronged you. Love like Jesus, and Jesus will defend you and keep you. Of that, I am certain.

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