“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1
Do you believe that scripture? Do you care? Do you even think about sin? Do you justify and rationalize behavior that you know separates you from the One who knows you better than anyone else?
Do you ever play this game with your sin? “God, I know you forgive me for that one, but maybe not this one? I mean, how could you? This one is hideous. I cringe whenever it comes to mind.”
I do. More than I like to admit.
So I continue to ask forgiveness over and over and over again…for something God doesn’t even remember after the first repentance.
There are verses scattered throughout God’s word about forgiveness. How the Father remembers our sin no more after we come to Him. So why can’t we “remember no more.” ?
I think I know the answer. At least for why I won’t let myself forget.
I think that I deserve punishment. I should suffer for the things I have done whether 5 minutes or 5 years ago.
I call it my pity prison and though not my intention, it deems me absolutely useless to the work of the Father.
That’s not how God works. Nor is it what He wants for my life. Not because I am destined to be a programmed robot who spits out bible verses every time I’m in a situation that calls for a response. But because He wants me to live life and live it more abundantly.
He tells me right there in John 10:10 “A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy (that thief is my shame). I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
Do I really believe this?
Do I truly believe, with all of the terrible things happening around me that He wants what’s best? That He wants to exceed all expectations? That His plan is without flaw, unlike my intentions?
“Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.” Ephesians 1:7-10 (MSG)
So, in other words, when my being a repeat offender leads to becoming a repeat confessor, I am saying that the cross is not enough. That the blood of my Savior, poured out for me, is not enough. That the hours of pain so intense I cannot even wrap my mind around it, was not enough. That the nail scarred hands where He was pierced, was not enough.
That even though He would have endured Calvary for my life alone, I need a little more proof that not only the little thing was forgiven, but the really big thing that I have been carrying around for years.
No matter the size of the sin, that is what held Him there.
“God rescued us from dead-end alleys and dark dungeons. He’s set us up in the kingdom of the Son he loves so much, the Son who got us out of the pit we were in, got rid of the sins we were doomed to keep repeating.” Colossians 1:13-14
I love the word rescued. Say it out loud… Rescued. Just the sound of it stirs feelings of hope.
Many times I have found that the hardest person to forgive is myself. My mind sits on repeat and torments me with feelings of guilt and shame. These are the times when I ask the Father to lead me to the cross.
If there is one thing I am sure of my friend, it’s that the cross… is… more than enough.
Oh, Joy! How beautiful! How precious these words are. And also what a warning as well to those who cling to shame – that somehow all of Jesus's suffering wasn't enough? Of course it was. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and encouragement.