I blogged about a clean slate last night – that freshly erased board of life that allows for fresh starts – like a brand new year. Every single one of us have started the first day of a whole new year.
There is something that I am confident about as I begin 2012 and that is God’s forgiveness. Not because I’ve lived a particularly good 2011, nor because I’m so sure that in 2012 I’ll do better somehow. My confidence rests in what God did for me through Jesus Christ. He paid the penalty for all of my sin – past, present, and future – His payment cancelled out any degree held against me, His death paid the bill in full.
However, this incredible and absolute truth, this gift of God’s love and forgiveness doesn’t always permeate my every day life. Tim Keller, quoting John Newton, said, “You know you’re holding on to remnants of a legalistic and childish view of Christ’s forgiveness when you’re overly sensitive to criticism (me), when you find repentance difficult and galling (yep), or when you’re insecure about how you’re being perceived (does he follow me around?). He goes on to say that these attitudes reveal that we’re not living in light of God’s forgiveness, love, and acceptance, and shows “works righteousness” still clinging to our souls, instead of depending upon the might and power of His name. Hmm, maybe I don’t really comprehend a clean slate in the deepest sense of the word.
So, at the top of my 2012 list I’m going to add: “Live – in my head and my heart, in my relationships – in the blazing truth of His forgiveness – given to me freely and at great cost.”