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Dealing With Real-Life Hauntings

Ghosts and nightmares are the stuff of legend and of guilt.

For some, guilt comes in small packages. For others, guilt comes in a the form of a large immovable object.

Why is it when God forgives us, we continue to carry the burden of our sins?

Every action has a consequence, but once God forgives us, shouldn’t we drop it?

Even diligent Christians are haunted by the past. The sins we committed, the wrongs we did to others, the ignorance we had of God, they all come to us in the middle of the night or as pangs of guilt in the daytime.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”Psalm 103:12

“As far as the east is from the west.”  That’s how far we should be separated from our sins once we’ve sought genuine forgiveness.

Think about how much energy guilt takes from us. Think about how much could be done with the energy that’s wasted on guilt.

“No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

If God doesn’t remember our sin,  we shouldn’t either.

My friend, Pastor Nolen Brunson, explained the concept of  forgiveness to me this way:

Give me your hand – palm up. Take this pebble in your hand and close your fist around it. That’s sin – The pebble itself and the energy you are using to hold on to the sin. Once you ask for God’s forgiveness, you must turn your hand over, open your hand, and drop the pebble. That’s the act of forgiveness – Letting go of the pebble (sin) and no longer holding on to it (guilt). Now turn your empty, open hand over, palm up. This is the act of forgiveness between you and God. You have been forgiven, and now your hand is open and ready to receive God’s blessings.

Until I heard that lesson, I didn’t get it. I thought every sin I’d ever committed was still there. Not for God, but for me. I thought it rightfully should be there. How wrong I was.  Forgiveness is a two-way street. God lets go, and so do we. Until that happens, forgiveness hasn’t happened. Once we both let go, we’re free to receive God’s blessings and do the work of God.

Here’s to giving up the ghost of sin,  letting go, and letting God today….and every day.

Is there something you just can’t seem to let go of? Is there something that haunts you? Grace may seem simple – because it is.  Grace really is all you need. Grace, and a willing spirit.