|Wiping the Slate Clean|
Psalm 130:3-4 (TEV)
Some of us know what it is like to be under a person who makes it his task to point out and hold against us any mistakes we might make during the course of the work day. It is as though such a person takes pleasure in following us around and compiling a list of our faults in order to find reasons to dismiss us. Being in such a negative situation can cast a dark cloud over the life, causing emotional distress and often physical ailments. We also know how this affects our ability to function at work well. Constant fault-finding usually does not inspire one to do better. It generally causes a loss heart, often resentment, and poor performance.
Deep down, some people have a view of God similar to this. Instead of taking comfort in a heavenly Father who loves them very much and wants to forgive and save them, they live in fear of a celestial demerit recorder who ever seeks opportunities to condemn and punish. Consequently, they fail to understand and experience the love of Christ. They have no assurance of salvation. Their lives appear more hopeless than those of unbelievers. Fear of punishment is no way to live.
Fortunately, no one needs to live this way. The soul trapped in sin can find forgiveness with God, who grants it ungrudgingly. He does not sit in heaven taking note of every sin so that He may condemn us. When God forgives, He does not hold in remembrance our former sins (Ezekiel 33:16). He places them as far from us as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12); He blots them out as a thick cloud (Isaiah 44:22); He casts them into the depths of the sea (Micah 7:19). Isn't that wonderful news?
God provides this grace to us not in order to be presumed upon, but so that we may hold Him in awe and honor Him. His grace heals us, and we serve Him best when we are assured of His forgiveness and experience His gift of salvation. In fact, God saves us by His grace so that we may live a life that is pleasing to Him (Ephesians 2:8-10). Why does God do this for us? Do we deserve it? No, because we all stand condemned as sinners before Him. He does this because His love for us is greater than we can imagine. And when we experience this kind of forgiveness, we are able to be forgiving of those who sin against us and truly love them (Mark 12:31).
We can take comfort in knowing that God does not follow us around recording all our sins to use as evidence against us so that we may lose out on salvation. He freely provides forgiveness to the sinner who comes to Him in repentance because of His steadfast love for us. He wipes the slate clean.