"You who once were far off have been brought near..." (Ephesians 2:13)

You Are NOT What You Are Not

Sunday Scripture

I can’t think of a thing more discouraging than being defined by what I am NOT. Of course, the list is long, and for most of us, that list is freighted with a fair amount of disappointment, squandered opportunity, or even just plain failure.

In his letter to the church he planted in Ephesus, Paul hammered home some of the glaring negatives attached to that fledgling Gentile fellowship:

  • not Jewish
  • not circumcised
  • not included in the covenant
  • no hope
  • no God (See Ephesians 2:12)

The good news attached to this, however, is that when they crossed the threshold into belief, all these negatives changed. Like a massive polarity-flipping power surge, all their noes had become yeses in Christ.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”

Ephesians 2:13

Rejoice, friends, because this is true of you as well, if you have handed yourself over to God. You cannot be comprehended by negatives nor defined by what you are NOT!

You have become an insider, included in all the glorious promises of God. Your new life, soaked in grace, can manifest Christ to those who are still on the outside so they can see, by your walk and by your words, that there is a different way to live in relation to their Creator.

If you are looking for a blessing, spend some time right now pondering your own “I once was lost but now am found” backstory. Here are some verses to get you started:

I Corinthians 5:17 — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Colossians 3:9 — …you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator

Isaiah 43:18, 19 — Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Grateful for a new beginning every single day,

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47 thoughts on “You Are NOT What You Are Not”

  1. One of my favorite verses along those lines is 1 Corinthians 6:11. After a whole list of people that won’t inherit the kingdom of God, Paul says, “And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.’ Blessed past tense!


  2. Michele, thank you for this post. Your post is a deep confirmation to my heart and I can only praise God for the timing of it’s publication. Thank you so very much!


  3. I once was lost and now I’m found. Amen and thank God for Jesus. Because of him, I can no longer be defined by what I’m not. Forgetting what is behind, I press toward the mark. The past is the past. It doesn’t define me or have any power over me unless I stay there. I’m pressing on the upward way, new heights I’m gaining every day, still praying as I onward bound, Lord plant my feet on higher ground.


  4. What a positive reminder of the New Covenant we have in Christ. The verse from Isaiah is one of my favorites. I have it on my list of meditations.


  5. Thank you for such a positive affirmation to ponder: I am NOT what I am not. Also appreciate the accompanying meaty scriptures. This clause stood out to me: “being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator…” I AM being renewed as I grow in my knowledge of my Creator and actually grow like him. How glorious, encouraging and empowering is that?! Thank you, Michele!


    1. Isn’t it good to be reminded that we are renewed via knowledge. I come from a tradition where emotion seems to be an expectation, but it’s certainly not meaty enough to support life. I’m so glad you made this point, Nancy, because it really needs emphasizing.
      Good words, as usual!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this! The book of Ephesians is chock full of good stuff; among which the reminder I’m God’s masterpiece (Eph. 2:10) and the spiritual weapons we have to do warfare when the enemy tries to tell us what HE thinks we are (Ephesians 6).


  7. Awesome post! Many times, I have to stop and realized these things. I am so happy that God made me and loves me the way I am!

    Your support for ‘My Corner of the World’ is much appreciated! Thanks for your link this week.


  8. This is so encouraging, Michele. I think I’m like many women in that I’ve spent most of my life defining myself by what I’m not. I’ve just begun to see how different life can be when I focus on what and Whose I am. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for linking up with Grace & Truth.


  9. ********************************************************
    Thank you for sharing at #OverTheMoon. Pinned and shared. Have a lovely week. I hope to see you at next week’s party too! Please stay safe and healthy. Come party with us at Over The Moon! Catapult your content Over The Moon! @marilyn_lesniak @EclecticRedBarn

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This is so encouraging, Michele! Of course it is absolutely true that we are not defined by what we are not within scripture, and I believe this also informs us in secular things as well. Thank you so much for sharing this piece with the Hearth and Soul Link Party community!


  11. Michele, you have such a beautiful way with words, and this post is just the latest proof of that! Such comfort to be found in these truths.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!


  12. Such a positive, encouraging message Michele, I will hold onto these words. Apologies for not reading last week but we have had a very, very busy week here. I made sure to come back though as I enjoy reading your encouraging words each week! Thank you as always for sharing with us at #globalblogging

    Liked by 1 person

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