I’m one of the messiest people I have ever encountered. I can’t eat without staining my clothes. I can’t get ready in the morning without getting makeup all over my bathroom sink. I always grab extra napkins at restaurants and I often use every single one of them. It’s a problem. Throughout the years, I’ve noticed my heart’s collection of stains and spills- messes I can’t clean up.
Have you ever done something you wish you hadn’t?
Maybe it was something you said, or something you did. Maybe it was a friendship you wish you never became part of. Maybe it’s something you didn’t do. Whatever it is, it’s not something you’re proud of. You don’t like talking about it, but it’s always there. It follows you around and creeps it’s way into your thoughts.
You constantly go back back in time and try to change your words, your actions, your choices; but, you can’t. You identify every possible “what if” and dwell on them, hoping it would make a difference.
The only thing you can do is carry around the overwhelming guilt you have. Your regret and pain comes in the form of a scarlet letter. Before long, you feel much like Hester.. You wonder if people know, if they can see your mistakes, just by looking at you. The letter becomes your prison. What you did in the past changes the way you make decisions in the future. You’re more timid and less likely to take chances.
I often wish that I could use a tide pen in real-life situations. A few years worth of mistakes have stained my heart. As humans, we are born sinners. We will mess up, make mistakes, and do the wrong things because it’s in our DNA. There’s no quick fix or an instant remedy to remove your guilt. You can’t wipe your tainted heart clean with a napkin or scrub it with oxi clean.
There’s only forgiveness.
Forgiveness is a powerful tool. It can transform lives on both sides of the coin- whether it’s you forgiving someone else, or someone else forgiving you. Forgiveness is freedom. It allows you let go of past mistakes and move toward the future.
Jesus Christ offers us the ultimate forgiveness. He chose to be bruised for your sin. He chose suffering for your sin. He chose to bleed and to die and to rise again for you and your sins. Despite our messy, sinful lives, Jesus chose to save us and to offer us freedom from sin and guilt.
It doesn’t matter what you have done, where you have gone, or who you have been…
You are forgiven.
“I have blotted out your transgressions like a cloud and your sins like mist; return to me, for I have redeemed you.”
– Isaiah 44:22