*I promise this post will be MUCH MUCH shorter than the one I started at midnight last night!* :)
I often think about mistakes I've made: those that were outright sin and those that were mistakes I didn't intend to make, but yet found myself doing. I often think about those negative things that have shaped me into who I am. Scars sometimes run very deep in our own hearts because of our failures. Actions have consequences, even if the world doesn't see them. It may be from many years ago in our past or it may be as recent as this morning. Sin carries a weight. Forgiveness of Christ frees us, but yet if we are honest and admit it, we don't always free ourselves from the guilt and shame.
This morning as I was reading a large portion of 1 Kings for B90, God really spoke to me through His word about carrying around that guilt and shame. Over and over, these words were used to describe the "good" kings. He "did what was pleasing in the LORD'S sight, as his ancestor David had done." Anytime a ruler had been pleasing, those words were used to describe the reign. It doesn't just say that the ruler had been pleasing. The ruler was linked to David, no matter how many years or generations had passed by.
Yet, David was an adulterer. Yet, David murdered Uriah the Hittite to claim Bathsheba for himself. God still looked on him favorably. Why? He repented and asked God for forgiveness. It's an example of how with Christ, our sins are as far as the east is from the west when we seek forgiveness and have a repentant heart. He DIED for our sins so that we don't have to carry the weight of it.
The first few verses of 1 Kings 15 really grabbed my attention. Abijam is the ruler being discussed. He was described as NOT being a good ruler because he wasn't faithful to the Lord. But read what verses 4 and 5 say:
"But for David's sake, the LORD his God allowed his descendants to continue ruling, shining like a lamp, and he gave Abijam a son to rule after him in Jerusalem. For David had done what was pleasing in the Lord's sight and had obeyed the LORD'S commands throughout his life, except in the affair of Uriah the Hittite."
God didn't punish David continuously for his sin, no matter how great it was. He still treasured him and looked on his life as a joy and acknowledges his faithfulness. Does he not do the same for us? Does he not say something along the lines of "Tracye, I know you ________ or I know you didn't __________ when I asked you to, but because of your repentant heart, I still treasure you"? That's what is amazing about the love of God. Because of his son's sacrifice, we CAN hear similar words.
The point is this, we are sinful by nature. We all do things that are displeasing. Our sin is sin...no matter how big or small. Yet, with a repentant heart and the sacrifice of Christ, we can be free from it. Our entire life doesn't have to be defined by what we do wrong. Without Christ, we have no freedom from our sins. Yes, we absolutely should strive to be more like Christ every day, but when we fail and WE WILL FAIL---we don't have to get bogged down and beat ourselves up over the mistakes time and time again. If God can still look at David with favor, He definitely can look at each of us the same way. Because of his unconditional love and the sacrifice Christ made, He sees beyond our sins and sees us as white as snow. That is what the blood of Christ does.