Fresh Hope – 27th July 2018

A few weeks ago I had a pile of laundry to do, so I dedicated my day to getting it washed, dried and ironed.  I carefully sectioned it according to colours and decided to do my son’s laundry first.  A little while later, when the washing was finished, I went to get it out of the machine. I exclaimed with horror as I opened the door and saw that the white t shirts and new pair of white shorts I had bought him were now ‘bright pink’.   I was really annoyed with myself, as I found that in the mix of clothes, a red pillowcase had got mixed up in the laundry and ended up spoiling the rest of the clothes. How could I have missed such a bright hard-to-miss colour among white clothes?  When my husband asked what had happened and I explained it to him his response was “Oh, I thought something worse had happened.” I was the only one who seemed bothered about it, my son certainly did not care what colour his clothes were.

 

Sometimes it’s easy to let little things that go wrong in our day get to us.  I thought of the verse in Isaiah 1:18 Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.” The Lord spoke these words to His people who didn’t just have petty stains but had really rebelled and turned away from Him. He wanted them to know that if they would return to Him, there was no sin that He couldn’t forgive and cleanse.

I think that sometimes, even though we receive salvation, and come into God’s Kingdom, we need to be reminded of this truth. When we know we have sinned against the Lord, we can come to Him and confess it and repent of it, and He will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). But we need to forgive ourselves in order to be able to receive the Lord’s forgiveness.

Do you struggle with this? I think we all do at times. We all need to let go of the guilt of the sins we have confessed and repented of, instead of remaining in guilt and shame. In 1 John 2:1-2 it says, ‘If anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our cause before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He Himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins’.

If we are forgiven by God, we must accept the forgiveness. To reject God’s forgiveness is to say that we are a higher authority than God.

C.S Lewis wrote, “If God forgives us we must forgive ourselves otherwise it’s like setting up ourselves as a higher tribunal than Him”. Forgiveness, of others as well as of self, is important for us and our mental health, as well as our spiritual health.

Sometimes forgiving ourselves is the hardest thing to do. We sort of have a self-imposed mental classification of what level of sin God can forgive us of and feel like our sins are way above the radar of what He is able to forgive. That is not true, he promises to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.  We also tend to be our own harshest critics, so we continue to beat ourselves up even when others have long forgiven us.  Yes, repentance is important when we’re in the wrong, but the Bible reminds us how important it is to learn from our mistakes and move on. Forgiveness frees us to be better people through God.

The moment you asked for forgiveness, God forgave you, now do your part and leave the guilt behind.

Christine Mudenha

A daily devotion for a better way of living.