I’m currently reading a daily devotional entitled “Acts of Repentance” via the YouVersion Bible app. The following quote is from day three…
“Repentance results in forgiveness. We repent and God forgives. Repentance and forgiveness are not difficult concepts. Repentance is our action and forgiveness is God’s reaction to us out of His perfect love for us. While the process is simple, the power of God’s forgiveness is unfathomable. God’s forgiveness eliminates all darkness in our lives and brings us into the light no matter what sins we have committed. God’s forgiveness covers ALL sins including yours. How has the redemptive power of God’s forgiveness changed and impacted your life?” 1John 1:5-10 (reference scriptures)
After reading this, I was reminded of how many times we fail to get the full benefits of God’s forgiveness because we haven’t accepted the truth that we, humans, are sinful by nature. Nothing personal, it’s the truth of EVERY human. It also keeps us from true repentance and lingering in the realm of arrogance. It speaks to the idea that we can save ourselves and we can pick and choose what parts of our lives we want God to handle. Let us not forget, HE IS GOD! And if He’s going to be IN our lives, He has to BE our lives.
We tend to hold back becoming naked and unashamed before Him because of the “I’m a good person” mindset. No, we aren’t! In a vain attempt at progressivism, society continues to categorize sin and wrongdoing, from the least to the greatest. Not only does it help keep many believers spiritually stagnant, it also gives us the freedom to believe we can’t possibly be as bad as the next person. Forgetting that in the eyes of God, the playing field is leveled. We see a murderer or thief on the news or read about a famous adulterer on trending social media posts, thinking, “I’m not that bad.” Then we, once again, fix our crowns and stand tall in our self-proclaimed honor of being a “good person.”
If you’ve followed me for anytime, you know that I’m honest and transparent, if nothing else. So I don’t write these words to appear all-knowing and perfect. I am the least perfect person I know. And I sometimes feel that because my life is used differently than most, many tend to think I’m super spiritual, always floating on a cloud or something; could NOT be farther from the truth. Those who are close to me know how real my life is. I am not immune to human experiences, not by any means.
I share this side note to say this, learning the art of forgiveness and killing the idea of being a “good person” were two of my hardest lessons as it relates to my salvation and relationship with God (and the battle continues). I’ve treated God’s forgiveness like it’s man’s forgiveness (or forgiveness of myself). You know how that works, conditional forgiveness. Being given and taken back according to the mood. Not only do others do it to us, we do it to ourselves as well. Someone will extend forgiveness, laced with conditions (spoken and unspoken) and as soon as your behavior contradicts their conditions, the offense hangs over you like a cloud of shame. When we do it to ourselves, it’s often worse. So much so that it can lead to anything from an occasional binge of food or alcohol, to a full-blown addition of some sort. All because, in some way, we’ve decided that we aren’t worthy of God’s forgiveness; that He can’t handle our stuff.
But when He forgives, He forgives FULLY! COMPLETELY! NEVER to remember the sin again. And His forgiveness goes hand in hand with our willingness to repent; destroying the thought of being a “good person.” Now, just imagine my voice shouting this through a bullhorn each time you begin to struggle with forgiveness according to the Truth of God. And, as mentioned in the devotional, God’s forgiveness is unfathomable. So don’t waste time trying to figure it out (or Him out, for that matter). Just repent and receive it!
Let me also mention that most of my “good person” mindset was rooted in what others had done to me. Comparing what they had and had not done to how undeserving I was of their treatment. Trying to bargain with God on how much forgiveness I should give them. Wanting Him to view me as the innocent victim and me having to do hardly any work in the entire process. Well, if you’ve been walking with the Lord for any length of time, you know that’s not how any of this works. Maybe I’ll write about that in a later blog entry.
ALSO, this devotional falls right in line with the #verseoftheday John 10:10. “I’m a good person” is most definitely one of the mindsets the enemy tries to use to steal, kill, and destroy us. So do all you can, while you can, to live a life for which the price has already been paid. Because I know how “FULL” my life is and is becoming, I have to remind myself of this daily.
Wishing you PEACE as only He can give. Be blessed!