If you could flit back to a point during your life, where you could make one little alteration, would you? It’s so tempting to long for the magic eraser, to wish for a magic wand to take us back and change where things went wrong for us. It’s tempting to point a finger and say, “Be gone foul devil” and forget that precise moment we incurred marks against our inner selves.
But, wouldn’t that change who you are? Take away one scar, one moment we stumbled, one time we expressed our hurt in the worst possible way, one time we didn’t show grace, and you change everything. See, there’s no need for Jesus’s taking on our sins if we can personally erase them. We cannot grow if we do not have things to grow from. We cannot appreciate the joy, if we do not experience the sorrow.
Think on these:
1. We all need God’s grace.
Romans 3:23-24 tells us “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” For all have sinned. And we all come short in the wash. However, we do not need the eraser, because God took care of our pasts for us. We need His- and only His- grace. Galatians 2:21 also tells us “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” His sacrifice heals our wounds, but…
2. We must repent.
1 John 1:9 states “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” We cannot get to Him through our own willpower. Jesus didn’t come for righteous folk. He came, He allowed men to place Him on the cross, He conquered the grave… He did these things for the sinners. We must actively surrender the truth of our sins to God. Then let Jesus do the work.
3. True repentance must be intentional and ongoing.
It is not a one-and-done kind of thing. Human beings are sinful, broken creatures. Until we enter the Kingdom, we will be burdened by misstep and moments we wish we could get back. This is not to say we can say, *Well if I am doomed to sin anyway, might as well keep doing what I have been doing.” But, if we confess and repent each time, isn’t that okay? No. True repentance requires us to make every possible effort to change. Though we will never be worthy of God’s forgiveness, when we repent with an honest and intentional heart, He touches us with His grace. Without an intentional heart, we just go through the motions and fall into the same sinful patterns. We cannot achieve perfection on our own, but we can- and must- make an effort to leave our sins behind. This also means we must get on our knees and seek God’s grace on a daily basis.
The Word of God offers us many passages about repentance and grace. Acts 3:19 says, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.” James 3:2 also tells us that “we all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.” Do you know anyone like that? Only Jesus. No more. No less.
So, we will end with this. If you’ve been holding on to things long turned over to your past, maybe it is time to turn them over to the one who can enact real change. If you’re holding grudges for sins others committed against you, turn those over to Him too. And also pray for healing for the one who transgressed against you. Maybe if we stop trying to take Jesus’s gift onto ourselves, we will realize we never really need that magic eraser.