I think there are many reasons. One that comes to mind is how we choose to view ourselves and others.
I’ve gone through a rough patch lately where I haven’t felt connected to God. No sense of His presence. No joy. No real peace.
It crept up on me slowly, inch by stealthy inch, stealing parts of my existence. It finally dawned on me that I was no longer enjoying my life. Where there had been bountiful color in my soul, there was now grayness. Where there had been lightness in my heart and my step, there was a hardness that was settling in.
In the busyness that is life with three teenagers in sports, I didn’t have much time to ponder this change. Until I woke up one morning and realized all of my joy was missing.
So I asked God what was going on. One word came to mind: offense
I’d been taking it. Complaining about this injustice here, that person’s wrong perspective over there. Walking in the pride that comes from judging others and living in your own sense of self-righteousness. Certain that I saw everything clearly and “those people” had it wrong.
And it completely robbed my ability to stand firm and live in the fullness we’re designed for.
So I repented and repented and repented. Not from a place of guilt. But, “Lord, show me where I’ve taken offense. Where I’ve judged. Where I’ve resented.” The list was a bit long.
We don’t need to repent over and over for the same offense for the Lord to pardon us.
We don’t need to wallow in guilt for him to see our remorse.
You see, we live in a world system that uses punishment and shame as tools to try to change behavior. And so we look for shame in others as a measure of their remorsefulness.
So it can be easy to assume that we have to be deeply entrenched in our own shame for God to see how sorry we are.
It’s one of the enemy’s biggest rackets against a believer.
How much healthier to see our sin, own it (take responsibility for our choice) and repent for it.
We don’t wallow in how dirty they are, how horrible it is to have dirt on our fingers and berate ourselves for how it got there.
We just wash it off.
So, in Jesus, we get to repent and apply that precious blood to our sin and get washed clean. It really is that simple.
Father, show me the areas that keep me from joy, from fullness in You. Teach me how to repent from a place of right standing in You. You died to give me right standing and I want to be free to become all You designed me to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Photos via Pixabay