Prior to becoming a Christian, Pretty Woman had been one of my favorite movies. It had glamor, action, drama, and a girl’s tried-and-true favorite: rescue by a knight in shining armor. Perhaps the most memorable line in the movie is when Richard Gere (Edward Lewis, aka high-class ‘John’) says to Julia Roberts (aka prostitute Vivian), “I think you are a very bright, beautiful woman,” to which she replies,
“The bad stuff is easier to believe. Have you ever noticed that?”
It captured the hearts of many who, like myself, had also decided “the bad stuff is easier to believe.” A painful past will do that to a person …
The Reality Today
A few years ago, I was reminded of those same words after watching the very disturbing documentary, “Nefarious: Merchant of Souls.” Our church held the event to shed light on the issue of human sex trafficking. Many wept; others sat gripping their chairs. For many of us, a silent outrage began to boil within our souls. No one left that evening unscathed.
For most of us, believing “the bad stuff” often starts out as a form of self-preservation. Perhaps we are trying to protect ourselves from a painful past, disappointment, or failure. However, for the victims interviewed in the movie, getting the girls to believe the “bad stuff” about themselves was part of the plan. It was a necessary means to an end for the merchants who sold them into the hell they would be living.
Not the Only Victims
But the girls were not the only victims. One thing I didn’t expect was to have my eyes opened to how some of the traffickers found themselves in this business. One man, after giving His life to Jesus Christ, said it this way, “She was in one kind of prison, and I was in another.” I doubt I could drum up the same level of compassion for that man as I have for the women he sold. Yet I thank God, for that man’s sake, that Jesus has an infinite capacity to love. His offer of forgiveness is available to every human being He created.
Jesus knows the depth of our depravity and yet, His love is deeper still.Jesus knows the depth of our depravity; yet His love is deeper still. Click To Tweet
As a post-abortive woman, I never imagined God could forgive me. More than that, that He could forgive the people who fed me the lies I believed. However, I’ve come to understand that God’s love is greater than our sin – all of our sin. He knows the “bad stuff” we believe about ourselves, other people, and even God Himself. All of us have been both victims and victimizers. Whether in one form or another, or at one time or another. But Jesus came to this earth with Good News! There is a Father in Heaven who loves us. His desire is to transform us into the image of His Son, who is full of love, mercy, and compassion.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
Only when we embrace Jesus, Who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” (John 14:6) can we finally be transformed into who God created us to be. When God opens our eyes to see how the “the bad stuff” has been brutally pounded into our hearts, minds, and souls, Jesus gives us the courage to reject the lies. Only then can we cry out,
“It’s not true!
I have dignity! I have worth!
There is a God who loves me!”
Do you need to know you are deeply loved? You only need to look to Jesus. He loves you so much that He left the glory of Heaven to rescue you. Jesus died on a cruel Cross to save you from the lies, pain, and all the other “bad stuff” that keeps you separated from the Father. He then rose from the dead and paved the way to Heaven for you. Today, you can choose to reject the lies and claim your identity as a beloved child of God.
“But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth …but a birth that comes from God.” (John 1:12)
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