2014-06-24 - Messy Mistakes
During the Summer after I graduated from college, I worked at a temporary clerical job at a Social Services Center. When we would type up case records, because they were legal documents, we were not allowed to erase our mistakes; instead, we were required to cross through them. So our messy mistakes were there on the records - for perpetuity!
But it's not like that with God. As John reminds us in what has been called "The Christian's Bar of Soap":
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Unlike those legal documents, our hearts, and our standing with God, CAN be cleansed, no matter what messes we have created, with the sins that we have committed. Does it mean that God will not hold us responsible? Absolutely not. If we have hurt a friend or loved one, that relationship may be affected for awhile. If we become addicted to drugs, our bodies will suffer the consequences, and we may lose our jobs, homes and even families. If we have committed a crime, we may have to serve time. After all, Christ didn't free the thief from the cross. He let the capital punishment carry through; He was more concerned about the man's eternal destiny, saying "Today you will be with me in Paradise." Christ was always pointing people toward the most important priority, eternity.
But if we sincerely confess and repent, we can have a totally clean slate in our relationship with God. Of course, this requires genuine sorrow - not being sorry that we were caught, nor for the consequences we brought upon ourselves - but actual sorrow over the fact that we have sinned against God and our fellow man, and have grieved the Holy Spirit.
I'm thankful that when God looks at us, He doesn't see our crossed-out sins; rather, He sees us dressed in His righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Janice P. Moser
All scripture references are from the NASB unless otherwise noted.