Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "The Strife Is O'er"1 (Lyrics)
The words slipped out of my mouth, and I was instantly sorry, but I couldn't stuff them back in. Like the proverbial feathers, they had been scattered to the four winds, and couldn't be retrieved.
Scanning back over a lifetime, I — we all — have memories of actions or words that we'd rather forget. I am still chagrinned as I remember impetuous things that I've said or done, sometimes years and years ago. Thankfully, however, it is possible to leave hidden shame and sorrow with Jesus. We no longer need to feel guilt or fear judgment if we have genuinely confessed our sin fully to our just and righteous Judge.
Even healed wounds leave scars as reminders of the pain once suffered, but if scabs are picked or scratched before the healing is complete, healing can be delayed or completely thwarted. So it is with sinful actions that we regret. Don't fall into the trap of reviewing the past, endlessly thinking, "What if … ?" or "If only …". That's simply scab-picking, and it's totally unproductive, since what has already been done can't be undone. It is essential to fully confess and repent of the sin, and then leave it with Jesus to heal. Though a scar may remain as a wry reminder of our sin, we can be assured that it is forgiven. Don't keep going back and reviewing what should have been done differently. Once we take our sin to Jesus, confessing our guilt, we must accept His full forgiveness and then refuse to dig up — or repeat — that sin again.
Has regret for hasty words or embarrassment over shameful actions hindered you in your walk with Jesus? Consider what these comforting words from Scripture can mean to a guilt-ridden soul:
Psalm 103:8-14 – The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He will not constantly accuse us, nor remain angry forever. He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust. (NLT)
How liberating it is to know that confessed sin is forgiven once and for all. Shameful actions of the past are not a burden to be carried for a lifetime. Will you take your burden of sin to Jesus to carry for you? Jesus died for the sins of the world. Your sins are not too much for Him to forgive.
Prayer: Dear loving and forgiving Father, thank You that You forgive our sins completely when we confess them to You. May we willingly confess our sins and then, just as willingly, accept Your full forgiveness. Amen.