It is really difficult to make eye contact with someone when I’m feeling shame over a past event. Even when I have reconciled with whomever, the very memory of what I said, or did, can come flooding back in an instant and render me helpless.
I hate moments like that.
Being forgiven by someone feels strange at times.
Have you ever been there?
Someone told me recently that it’s as if God doesn’t allow us to forget our transgressions, that way we never repeat them. But that does not line up with the God I know and worship. Nor does it add up with the person in question who has never brought this issue up again once we handled it, it’s as if he has forgotten. I apparently, have not.
I have a hot temper.
Sometimes I keep a lid on it.
Sometimes I don’t.
I once verbally crucified a man and instead of reacting in anger back, he asked for three days to think about it before he responded.
Was he serious?
Once he responded, with grace and integrity I might add, I realized that I had been in the wrong, and quickly apologized.
Christ was crucified.
He rose on the third day.
This man, meaning to or not, modeled Christ to me at a time when I wasn’t behaving very Christ-like.
Proverbs 16:32 New American Standard Bible (NASB) - He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit, than he who captures a city.
I never forgot that. As for my friend’s comment though that God doesn’t allow us to forget our sins, he’s wrong. Jesus came as our arbitrator, not our accuser. Shame is NEVER of God. That’s Satan’s job.
If you, LORD, kept a record of sins,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
As far as the East is from the West,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
To better visualize exactly how far the East truly is from the West take out a globe.
Put your finger on the state or country you live in. Start walking North. Once you reach the North pole you cannot keep going without walking South.
Put your finger back.. now start walking East on the globe.
You will circle the globe without EVER heading West.
Do you get that?
East and West do not touch!
That is how far He has removed our sin.
So when shame over comes you.
When eye contact is painful
and the Devil says “Did God really say?” Answer back
YES, the Lord DID say he keeps no record.
YES, the Lord DID say he has removed our sin.
And the next time you – or I – feel the urge to react rather than respond, remember Jesus took three days to rise from the dead; maybe we should try the same thing.
This is one lesson, I will never forget.
I’m heading home to Chittenango NY for three weeks. Have a great 4th and I’ll see you in August.