My sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. Psalm 40:12
Yesterday, the cry for repentance went out and the reverberations from God, through Malachi, reached our hearts. After sending it, this thought came to me. “Few who need to repent actually do. bAnd, those who are quick to repent often aren’t the guilty ones!” As soon as I was struck by this, I saw many of you taking in the message of repentance, reviewing your sins and hanging your head in discouragement. The sins may be ones you’ve already repented of, but feel that God could not possibly have forgiven. Satan, your accuser, throws them up to your face daily! They may even be false sins; ones over which others have proclaimed you guilty, but in actuality, you are not.
Any of us who were the family scapegoat will be inclined to embrace accusations as truth. We have an overly sensitive ‘guilt trigger’. Self-hatred is also often mistaken for repentance. Thoughts of unworthiness deceive, leading us to believe that what we’re experiencing is a kind of humility Jesus wants. But God desires to lift us up, set us free, and see us dance over the discovery of being so extravagantly forgiven. Wallowing in guilt was never His design. When we do, it’s a sign that we have embraced a pseudo Christianity fashioned by the hands of one who enjoys watching us live a compromised life. True repentance happens when the Spirit of God brings a sin to mind, I respond remorsefully, and am then able to get up and rejoice over His radical forgiveness. My Chris-centered lifestyle should resemble a never-ending cycle;
- Joy of Forgiveness
Some never truly repent. They are indignant at the suggestion. The many who do acknowledge their guilt never allow Jesus to pull them out of the pit. Their cry resembles David’s lament. Sins overtake them. Ah friend, as long as you and I can see the cross, look up and gaze into the eyes of our suffering Savior, we will find the secret to living with freedom and joy.
I can’t trust others to decide when I am guilty. It’s too important a matter. My ears are open to You first. Amen