I never cease to be amazed at the simplicity in which God reveals. A simple conversation in the midst of everyday life revealed the misnomer. As the words spilled out, for the first time I could hear the blatant lie buried in their midst. “I can’t look back right now and think about all the things I need to make right.” “There’s so much I’ve done wrong.”
Just the thought of those words send me back into memories of the gerbil wheel of performance that filled my past. I tried to make everything right. After all the more things I got right the more godly I became.
In the midst of an ordinary dialogue I saw the reality of how foolish it all was. Even if I went back to look at every single thing I had done, I could never make anything right. For God is the only one who can take something so wrong and make it all right. He is the only One who can handle sin… mine, yours… theirs.
I was commanded to forgive being told that if I did not then I wouldn’t be. If I didn’t confess my every sin my life would not be in right standing with Him. It’s not my confessing or my choice to forgive that makes me right with Him. It’s Jesus.
Repentance and forgiveness are gifts of grace given to me for healing. They are not acts to be followed, only gifts to be received. As I take them in my hands broken places get fixed, oftentimes stronger than they were before they were shattered.
There’s a difference between remorse and repentance. Remorse causes me to be sorry that I got caught. Repentance allows me to count the cost that my sin brought to another. In repentance I agree with the truth. I’ve allowed sin to reign in my mortal body. I’ve hurt another with my choices. I need God to make right what I’ve done wrong. In that I admit that I can’t deal with my sin. I look to Him to make good what I’ve made bad.
He comes in brilliant ways to tell me that it’s all covered. All the wrongs I’ve done He will make right. It’s then I find myself going to the one I have hurt, admitting the cost my choice has brought to them. Repentance cleanses me from my sin while forgiveness cleanses me from yours.
Forgiveness allows me to admit that I cannot deal with your sin. I need God to take the power of the wrong done to me and somehow make it all good. I place it in His hands as I walk away knowing He has cleansed me from the wrong of another.
I forgive for my sake. When you seek me out to ask my forgiveness it is then I can forgive for your sake. In that moment God re-establishes the relationship in the way only He can.
For years I was focused more on the wrong I had done than the relationships that had been broken by my sin. Sin deeply affects relationships. Everything gets distorted when sin enters, everything. It’s why Jesus came to pay its penalty.
These gifts of grace play their own role in repaving the road of trust that sin has betrayed. God invites me to take them in my hands, beautiful treasures that they are, allowing them to do their magical work of repair.
He came to heal the broken-hearted as He releases prisoners from their prisons of shame. Captives are brought out of captivity while ashes turn into beauty in His hands. Garments of praise become cloaks that replace the spirit of heaviness. It’s the way of my Creator.
The more I understand His words “it is finished” as that last breath escaped His body the more I am undone. It was His final statement that changed the world, forever. All that held me captive is undone. All that I have done has been redeemed.
Gifts of grace invite me to live in that which has been finished. Beautiful treasures with greater purposes are laid out before me waiting to be received. As I take them as my own something magical happens. He rights all the wrongs.
©copyrighted: 2011, Julie L. Todd