It is not particularly an easy thing to be a good human being. There are so many things that can cause us to think, say and do unkind or bad things. In my personal opinion, if you are a Christian and truly do want to reflect Jesus to others, it becomes even more difficult.
Each day during my prayer time I thank God for being gracious enough to forgive me of my sins which are so many. I ask Him to help me to be aware of all my thoughts, words and deeds and to prompt me when I get off track. It is SO easy to drop our guard and allow unkind thoughts to run through our mind, then the next logical step is to put those thoughts into words. If we think and/or say things privately, that is bad enough – but when we allow ourselves to speak them out to others, we have crossed another line. Then if we ever allow ourselves to act out toward others in an unkind way we have put wheels on those thoughts and words.
Psalm 44:21b (GNT) says: “…you know our secret thoughts.” There is nothing that is hidden from Him. That is a truly sobering thought, is it not?
Luke 8:17 (AMP) “For there is nothing hidden that will not become evident, nor anything secret that will not be known and come out into the open.”
We may think that we are getting away with things and that no one knows. But how wrong we are. Our God that has created us and given His all in order to save us from hell is aware of everything we think, say and do; and, a time will arrive when it will come to light.
Will you be able to stand proudly with what is revealed about you? Or, will it be a matter of shame and humiliation?
Jesus said in Luke 12:2-3 (MSG): “‘You can’t keep your true self hidden forever; before long you’ll be exposed. You can’t hide behind a religious mask forever; sooner or later the mask will slip and your true face will be known. You can’t whisper one thing in private and preach the opposite in public; the day’s coming when those whispers will be repeated all over town.’” The Good News Translation puts verse 2 this way: “‘Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known.’” [Emphasis mine]
This is why it is so important for us to pray daily, confessing our sins and asking for forgiveness. It truly is critical that we hand our sins over to Him so that we can be cleansed.
Acts 3:19 (AMP): “So repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins] and return [to God—seek His purpose for your life], so that your sins may be wiped away [blotted out, completely erased], so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord [restoring you like a cool wind on a hot day]” [Emphasis mine]
We are told that when we do that, God remembers our sins no more. There is verse after verse in the Bible that assures us of that. But one of my favorites is Psalm 103:8-12 (NLT): “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.“ [Emphasis mine]
If you have confessed your wrongs to God but still feel like you are constantly being reminded of what you have done – that is not from God. Satan is the one that wants you to feel condemned for those things. He wants you to feel shame and think less of yourself. Shake that off! Live in the confidence that God heard your confession then promptly forgot it. So forgive yourself and forget it.
But what about the need for us to be forgiving of others? How important is it that we do that? Our being forgiven for our sins is not where it ends. We also have to be ready and willing to forgive others. As difficult as that can be at times, it is just one more step to ensure that God forgives us.
Matthew 6:7-15 (GNT) Jesus says this: “‘When you pray, do not use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven: May your holy name be honored; may your Kingdom come; may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need. Forgive us the wrongs we have done, as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us. Do not bring us to hard testing, but keep us safe from the Evil One.’ If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.’” [Emphasis mine]
So basically it narrows down to this: (1) Realize that you cannot keep secret things in your life – God knows them all. (2) Strive to live a good life controlling your thoughts, words and deeds. (3) Pray, asking God to help you with step #2 and to forgive you of the things that get by you. (4) Remember to forgive yourself and any others that offend you – a must if we want to receive our full forgiveness from God.
Written by Karran Martin
September 20, 2021