Psalm 103:12: “…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (NIV)
I do not know about you, but it is heavy to carry around the weight of self regret; especially the regret of not measuring up to the person I think I should be. I see myself one particular way in my mind, as someone who should exhibit all the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control) all the time: In stopped traffic on a Friday afternoon when I’m already late, or a crowded grocery store with a hungry, tired two-year-old on the verge of a meltdown, or when all three kids have to talk to me at once and I am on an important phone call with my boss and five hours of work looming ahead of me at 8:00 p.m. I envision being that someone who has endless patience even in high humidity and bad hair days, when there are too many things to do and not enough time to do them, when I am buried so deeply that I cannot even see the bottom line.
They say that is when a person’s true character shines through – in stressful situations and painful life events. Therefore, I feel like I have to measure up to perfection all the time in order to allow Christ to shine through me, showing His example to others. My biggest fear is that people will judge my God based on my imperfections.
However, I think I have been thinking about this all wrong. I shine the most for Christ when I sit back, relax, and ask Him for a clean slate every day. When I put my priorities in their correct order, asking God what His plan is for me today and not worrying about my own agenda. Those are the days that more gets done, I show more “fruit” from above, and I go to bed at night with a clear conscious, not having completed my own checklist, but listening and watching and be willing to accomplish what God had in store for me instead. I find, too, that the more I think in terms of what God wants to do in my life today, the happier I am. Not because I now have an excuse for slacking off; no, instead, I tend to be more vigilant, not wanting to disappoint the God of the universe by failing to complete a task He set before me. But, it is His agenda and He is a much nicer Judge of me than I ever will be of myself. He does not hold a grudge if I fail to accomplish all He asks. He cares more about my heart and my desire to obey than whether or not I completed each task perfectly. If only I was that forgiving of myself.
My job is to remember that more often. I am thankful that God holds my slate and that He wipes it clean for me on a daily basis.