Sunday, January 14, 2018

Time to get rid of the rocker

32 1-2 What happiness for those whose guilt has been forgiven! What joys when sins are covered over! What relief for those who have confessed their sins and God has cleared their record.
There was a time when I wouldn’t admit what a sinner I was. But my dishonesty made me miserable and filled my days with frustration. All day and all night your hand was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water on a sunny day until I finally admitted all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide them. I said to myself, “I will confess them to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
Now I say that each believer should confess his sins to God when he is aware of them, while there is time to be forgiven. Judgment will not touch him if he does. (Psalm 32:1-6 TLB)
How likely are you to admit you are a sinner? Hiding behind your dishonesty only makes you miserable - just as the writer of our psalm said. The truth sets each of us free. There is no better cure for misery than confession. There is no better vehicle for hope than grace. There is no better release than to actually lay it all out before God and allow him to really set you free! I have frequently said guilt is not really a short "trip" for many of us - it can be a lifetime journey for some! It could be we have become so accustomed to our guilt we just cannot believe there is any other possible way to "feel". 
I was kind of reminded of my need to take action the other day when I told a friend I did not accomplish the removal of a particular rocker from my mother's room that I feel is not all that safe for her any longer due to her lack of stability on her feet and how long it takes for her to gain stability upon rising from a chair now. In essence, she asked me what I was afraid of and suggested that mom couldn't spank me for doing it. The truth of the matter is that I will do this, but I want to give mom a chance to consider it as something of benefit to her. Aging is a hard enough thing and there is constant pressure on her to "give up" so many of the things she was accustomed to doing. 
The way we "feel" and adjust to those "feelings" is indeed important in this lifetime, but there are some some feelings we don't want to take too long to get used to - such as guilt! Guilt isn't something we want to accept as a long-term thing in our lives. We want to be sensitive to it, as I am trying to be sensitive to mom's need to adjust to her limitations, but we don't want to give guilt so much room that it takes over in our lives. We want to allow guilt to do what it was designed to do - drive us to our knees and seek God's grace to deal with whatever is giving us that guilt. While we cannot deny the feeling, we don't want to entertain it as a lifestyle!
We might not realize how much relief comes from dealing with our guilt as God designed. We probably haven't learned how much God desires to hear us acknowledge our sin before him and so we believe we have to deal with that guilt all on our own, or entertain it for way too long. God isn't going to "spank us" just like mom won't spank me for taking good care of her. He will embrace us and recognize that we have needs only he is capable of meeting. He will shower us with grace, as mom will shower me with grace as she adjusts to saying goodbye to this favorite little chair. As we let go of our favorite little sin, God has a big cushy "chair of grace" we can settle into. Just sayin!