Not only does the Lord offer forgiveness and a restored relationship but He also wipes out any memory He has of my wrongdoing
I am part of a generation of men that didn’t see long trousers until we went to “big school” at 11. Therefore, until that age, I lived with knees and elbows permanently covered in cuts and scratches arising from falls off bikes, roller skates and out of trees and quite often simply from, as my mother used to put it, “walking around in a daze and tripping over my own feet!”
These honourable scars developed crusts as they healed, commonly known as “scabs” made up of dried blood and other stuff. At that age skin heals very quickly and you could expect the wound to be healed in a day or two. The problem was the scab itched and I couldn’t resist picking at it. The result was that the wound took a lot longer to heal, sometimes became bigger and in a couple of cases, left a slight scar which I carry some 60 odd years later.
Isn’t sin a bit like that? My sins hurt others and myself but through the blood of Jesus I can come before the mercy seat of God in repentance and receive forgiveness. Not only does the Lord offer forgiveness and a restored relationship but He also wipes out any memory He has of my wrongdoing. As it says in Psalm 103: 10-12 He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
The thing is, I don’t have God’s capacity to wipe my memory clean. My sinful past leaves scars on my memory.
That can actually be a good thing because in recalling how I was, I am able to give glory and thanks to God how far he has brought me. It also acts as a warning of how easy it would be to slip back into old behaviour patterns without the help of the Holy Spirit.
There is another advantage, and that is, my experiences in my previous life can help me, in my new life, to assist those who may be in the midst of similar experiences, with a degree of empathy I wouldn’t perhaps have.
I refer quite deliberately to “previous” and “new” because like Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
There is inherent danger in these scars, of course:
Firstly, by revisiting past memories I am “picking the scab” and could be re-opening old wounds, allowing the devil in to accuse me of them all over again. So, I thank God that I can stand on Romans 8:1-2 For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
Secondly, the devil will tempt me to “glorify” my misdeeds and my “wild child” days rather than carrying an intense hatred of them. As it says in Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
Finally, I thank God that I can look to James 4:7; Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. And call on the name of the Lord Jesus who has cleansed me with his blood.
A recurring theme of my childhood days was my mother’s voice saying, “Stop picking!” I feel that my Father’s voice is saying the same thing to me now. I just need to listen and obey, as always.
Have a blessed week.
Author: Alan Cameron
May God bless and enrich your life
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