Today I gained a fresh perspective on how God responds to my sin. I tend to get stuck in the thought God is disappointed in my bad actions and will reprimand me for how I have done wrong. I then guilt myself and get stuck there for a while, sometimes a long while. What I really do is punish myself. However, then I don’t apply equal or greater energy to learn from my mistakes—to pursue living into God’s grace and redemption. Sure, I repent and ask forgiveness, but those actions seem to have become, well, idols. I do them because I think they are the “right” response in the wake of my sin. However, perhaps the better response is to truly seek God.
Seeking God means being open to the fullness of God’s character. Going to the one who, yes, gets disappointed and allows there to be consequences for our actions, but is all the while wholly love. God is disappointed because God loves us and knows there is a better way for us to be. God wants us to pursue that better way, not get stuck in feeling bad. To repent means to turn around. To turn around then means going from sin’s darkness to God’s light, from being consumed by guilt to receiving new life, love, and peace. To move from a sense of God’s disappointment to the awareness of God’s overwhelming love for us – as one friend put it, ‘To praise God for loving me enough to correct me when I stray.’ This statement acknowledges God knows it has become part of our nature to sin. Therefore, it is grace God shows us when and where we have erred so we can return to God. God wants us back despite our sin. And, God has wondrously already forgiven us for all our sin. We just need to live into and trust that. God wants to draw us back to our true nature. For, our true nature is in the image of God—pure and holy. God corrects us that we might be brighter and truer reflections of Jesus—to have fullness of life as intended and hoped for us all.