Have you ever thought that If people knew some of the things you have done throughout your life that they would turn their backs on you? Maybe you have thought you might as well stand there and let them throw stones because some of the choices you have made, or some of the things that have been done to you, are THAT shameful. For me, it was fulfilling all of my fleshly desires through the week and on Friday and Saturday nights. Then I would go to church on Sundays and justify that because “I was not ‘hurting anyone’, and was asking for forgiveness, I was good to go!” Let me clarify something here…I was asking for forgiveness by reading the preprinted “confession of sins” in my bulletin. I was not asking for forgiveness with a truly repentant heart. Frankly, I knew in my heart at this time that these same sins would be repeated.
Forgiving other people? That is a whole different story. I consider myself ‘good’ at forgiving. I am fairly certain that if you asked anyone who knows me well, they would describe me as someone who gives grace freely. Let me paint a picture of what that looks like. You do something to offend me. You ask for forgiveness. I forgive you. Oh, but sister, that is not all. The next time a similar situation presents itself, or I feel threatened that a similar occurrence may be coming, I dig my heels in and pride and control come out in the ugliest of ways. I can go from zero to needing a ‘fruit inspection’ in 5.2! (see the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5)
Sisters, God does not want us to remain in those shameful places or those places of unforgiveness. That includes those of us who freely give forgiveness to others but have trouble forgiving ourselves. There is freedom in Him! I want you to take a deep breath and ask Him to prepare your heart before you continue reading…
Now, I want you to picture yourself. And I want you to picture yourself with the shame and the sins that are holding you in bondage written all over your body. Go ahead…you can even use ‘permanent’ marker. Now I want you to cover that body with mud…and while you are at it…top it off with a splash of crimson.
Ladies, we are not meant to stay here all covered up in our sin and shame. Are you ready to move forward in forgiveness and see yourself redeemed? I want you now to get a clear picture of the ‘new’ you. Are you ready to claim these promises? Deuteronomy 31:8 gives us this promise, “God is striding ahead of you. He is right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry.” (Message) Remember that muddy girl in the last paragraph? Guess what? That marker is not permanent…but His love is. Psalm 40:2 says, “He lifted me out of the ditch, pulled me up from deep mud. He stood me up on a solid rock to make sure I wouldn’t slip.” (Message) Are you picturing Him pulling you up? Washing you off? Making you new? Lastly, do you remember that splash of crimson? Isaiah 1:18-19 says, “If your sins are blood red, they’ll be snow-white. If they’re red like crimson, they’ll be like wool. If you’ll willingly obey, you’ll feast like kings.” (Message)
Sisters, let’s join hearts and move forward. Let’s surrender together. We will fall…but He will never fail. Will you join me?