Standing With A Clean Slate

Taking a hard, responsible look at ourselves and “owning” our mistakes and less-than-honorable contributions to life is not an easy task. Reading Proverbs and James definitely brings out the bright yellow highlighter in terms of identifying our blunders, and can very easily leave us in a puddle on the floor.

Its amazing how blind I have been over the years, and how much damage and pain I have caused both to myself as well as others. Maybe you feel that too. I mean, I knew when I did or said something stupid or hurt someone, but I didn’t realize how far it could reach. Especially if I repeated it.

I’m aware that all that has gone wrong is not entirely my fault, but the fact remains that I am guilty of contributing to much of it.
I’m discovering that as I seek forgiveness from others as well as myself, I still have to let the guilt go.

You’d think it would be automatic; instead I have to make a conscious effort to release myself just as I have released others that I’ve forgiven.

The beauty of it is that God’s grace has enabled me to make the effort as He continues to remind me that I stand before Him with a clean slate. Not because I got my act together and am a better person, but because He took all that junk from me.

akianesjesusSo, I picture Jesus in front of me, and at first I smile and take a step closer. As I near, something changes in His appearance and stops me in my tracks.

I imagine an abscess appears on His side that I can tell embodies my anger. Another sore, clearly from the wounds I have inflicted on those around me and myself, festers on His cheek. I’m taken aback, and start to object as I see Him become covered in awful lesions and horrible, painful wounds, all due to my foolishness – – but He dies before my eyes.

Immediately He reappears before me, and I remember that it was for all this that was not right that He died. He took all that garbage and got rid of it. So now as He walks toward me and takes my hand, He is strong and healthy and perfectly right. As I smile at Him, I watch as He takes a step further and engulfs me with His presence.

Not only did He dispose of all that burdens me, but He fills me with His perfect self. I let the weight of that knowledge trickle through all my senses and am overwhelmed by this immense Love for me.

I do not deserve it. I couldn’t win it. But He gave it to me for free.

I feel Him smile, and I sense the Father’s Pure Delight as He looks at us.

 ” I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. Yet not I but Christ lives in me, and the life which I now live I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

” So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

 “For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures – for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too.” Romans 8:16&17a

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