Are you glad 2022 is almost over? Do you cringe every time you recall the poor choices you made, even though you’ve genuinely repented of those choices?
In 2 Samuel 12, we read about how the prophet Nathan confronted King David about his adulterous affair with Bathsheba and how David sought and received God’s forgiveness. If he hadn’t accepted God’s mercy, it’s likely that his sinful behavior would have defined the rest of his life.
Living under the weight of his sin would have made it much more difficult for David to seek and hear God’s direction during the tumultuous years that followed. Furthermore, if he made light of God’s mercy, his confidence as king of Israel would have taken a hit.
And … we probably wouldn’t know David as a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22).
Just as David did, we, too, must accept God’s mercy when we repent. Years ago, I allowed my choices to define me. I wore regret like chains and feared I’d never break free, even though I repented of those choices over and over again.
Thankfully, I finally accepted God’s forgiveness. In time, I saw myself differently as a dearly loved child of God.
A woman after God’s heart.
But when we live under condemnation, it not only changes the way we see ourselves, it also affects the way others see us. Rather than seeing us as beloved children of God, they perceive us as miserable, guilt-ridden souls. They might never know us as people who are joyfully (albeit imperfectly) committed to God’s ways.
Imagine how it would change people’s perception of us if we stopped dwelling on our failures, sincerely repented of our sins, and prayed the words of King David after Nathan confronted him:
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. (Psalm 51:15 ESV)
Think how it would transform our witness as Christ followers if we praised God for the extraordinary love He displayed at Calvary. As we continue to declare God’s praises, our confidence in His love and faithfulness will grow. Our witness will become stronger as we no longer believe the lie that we’re not worthy of God’s care and direction.
Ask yourself—which would be a more dynamic testimony in 2023? Allowing our hearts to grow weary with regret and sorrow because of our sins? Or opening our mouths, declaring God’s praises, and thanking Him for His welcomed mercy?
What do you think?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- Do you struggle with shame, self-hate, or guilt for sins you’ve already confessed to God?
- Would spending time praising God for all He has done for you, including dying for you, help change your perspective?
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