The old adage may say that “silence is golden” but the reality is that often it is exactly the opposite. There are a lot of things that we try to mask and cover with silence. Often these are personal issues and challenges that we feel guilt over and ashamed of; marital and family problems, work challenges, addictions of all kinds, even scars from past behaviors and actions. While covering them in a collective cone of silence may seem like a good management technique, it often just leads us down the road to more pain, more guilt, and more shame. The self-perpetuating cycle of silence = guilt = silence continues to grow and cripple our lives. Before long our relationships and our spirits are locked in a downward spiral because we cannot let them go from the hold they have on us.
We may attempt to break free by putting on our happy faces or boldly declaring that our “past is the past” or “what’s done is done” but who are we kidding when we never truly let it go and move on. As one self-help guru who I have otherwise long since forgotten said “your past is not your past if it is still part of your present”. If we are still rehashing and chewing on yesterday we will never be able to face today, let alone tomorrow.
Then I let it all out; I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.” Suddenly the pressure was gone – my guilt dissolved, my sin disappeared. Psalm 32:5 (The Message)
Let it go.
David the Psalmist is someone I can really identify with. He messed up big time but God not only forgave him, he restored him. When I say he messed up big time, I mean BIG TIME. David’s sin would make the cover of supermarket tabloids these days. Despite all that, David understood the power of not only the confession of our failures to God, but also in accepting God’s grace in return. You see the two are designed to go together. God willingly wants to give us not only his forgiveness but also his grace and restoration; we just have to accept it. Far too often we fail to fully let go of our sins and give them over to God and move on. We get stuck in the self defeatist brow beating of wishing and hoping we were somehow a better Christian, or a stronger person, had more self-will power, or read our Bible and prayed more, or if we would only just…….
Let it go.
Coming to God with a true and honest heartfelt confession is all it takes. There are no other requirements. Stop thinking that you have some payment plan to atone for. The truth is we could never pay that debt owed for our sin so Christ paid if for us, in full. When he said “it is finished” (John 19:30) he ment it. The final payment was Jesus’s life, we don’t owe that old debt anymore.
Let it go.
Asking for and accepting forgiveness from God is less about doing something about our sin as it is doing something because of and in spite of our sin. As human creatures we will sin, there is no doubt about that. Our Christian walk should be designed to lead us in a direction where the temptations are less and less, but regardless of our intentions we will at some point sin and need God’s forgiveness. We will need to come before God and turn it over to him and let it go. Not only does God’s grace erase our sin, it will erase our guilt and shame as well if we will fully accept and understand the gift of that grace. Because I am a sinner I will fall short and will need the grace offered to me by a loving God.
Let it go.
The act of asking for and then fully accepting forgiveness from God will have a powerful effect on our lives, what is it that you need to let go of today?