Cleaning the Slate

Romans 8:1 – But if we own up to our sins, God shows that He is faithful and just by forgiving us of our sins and purifying us from the pollution of all the bad things we have done.  (VOICE)

“Why don’t you grow up!”  The anger flew out of my mouth with the ease of a seasoned angry person.  As soon as I said it, I knew those words were toxic.  Before we knew he actually was ill, I attributed his actions to immaturity, alcohol, drugs.  Why couldn’t he just own up to his behavior and change?

photo by Wesley Fryer

photo by Wesley Fryer

Year later, after his diagnosis, I was consumed with guilt about my actions toward him during those early years.  God was most certainly looking down on me with disdain for my lack of compassion and my judgmental attitude.  While I had tried to be the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to him, I was now being my own Holy Spirit by heaping judgment upon myself, sure that I was beyond God’s forgiveness.

Asking for forgiveness, then spurning that forgiveness which God offered, was sin.  In essence, I was saying that God’s death and resurrection was not enough.  Somehow I would have to atone for my own sin, adding to what God had already done.

That was just sick – to say that the God Who created the universe had such meager power that I would have to help Him.  That is not just any sin – it is pride to the nth degree.

But the silver lining in that self-inflicted cloud is that what God did truly is enough.  My part is to realize what my sin is and confess it to Him.  His part is not only to forgive me, but also to clean my slate so that I can start over fresh.

God’s faithfulness is embedded into His character.  He can’t help but forgive because He has promised to do so when we come to Him in humility and ask for it.  So when I ask God to forgive those words and attitudes I carried, He forgives me.

We have all done things we are not proud of.  We are human beings with a sin nature, and even if we are Christians, we will only be perfect when we get to heaven.  Meanwhile, back on the earth, we journey through life – sometimes staggering through life – still struggling with sin but with the comfort of know that when we blow it, we need only to go to God.  He has an unlimited supply of forgiveness.
A clean slate every time.  What an amazing gift!

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