Imagine if you wrote down and listed all the wrong, messed up, unkind things you have said and done, and gave that list to Jesus. He would do one thing with that list – He would take it and tear it up and throw it away.
No matter what we’ve done, when we come to God and ask Him to lift off the weight and stain of our mistakes, He gives us a fresh start; a clean slate, a blank page to begin again. (1 John 1:9)
If you come to Him, He promises that “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us”. (Psalm 103:12). God loves us and wants you to live free without the burden of the past, and an essential key to walking in continual freedom is to also extend forgiveness and grace towards others just as God has forgiven you.
However, the sad truth is that too many of us are not mindful of keeping short accounts, walking in forgiveness, or choosing to live free from taking offence. As a result, we can easily start to carry around lists against others; some of which we have carried for a very long time, continually telling ourselves that this is okay.
But Easter is the time when we specifically remember the ultimate act of tearing up any lists against us and extending our own forgiveness to others. Isn’t it time we extended the same grace and forgiveness we have been given and chose to tear up our lists too? In exchange, God offers us a blank, brand new piece of paper and asks us to provide other people with that same gift. That doesn’t mean people won’t mess up or that we won’t stumble ourselves. But God, if we let Him, will teach and enable us to love and walk in forgiveness just as He does.
Take the time to examine your own heart. What “lists” do you have of your failings, and what lists do you have of other’s shortcomings?
Today give God your lists and allow Him to cleanse, restore and make you and your relationships healthy and whole. Choose to bless those around you by giving them a clean slate as you tear up your “lists” today. “And hope does not make ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us”. (Romans 5:5)
“Love does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:5-8) Prayer: Lord, thank you that you offer me a blank page to write the next chapter of my story on. I give you all of my lists. Forgive me where I have taken offence and harboured unforgiveness in my own heart. Today I choose to let go of the lists I hold on others and myself and choose to love and forgive just as you forgiven me. In Jesus Name Amen.