A couple pairs of adorable but naughty hands gouged their dinner forks across our dining room table leaving painful, visible scars. A heavy sigh escaped as I logged into Pinterest, determined to find an inexpensive, creative way to repair the damage.
The endless “white” pictures consumed me, distracting me from life. My senses refused to acknowledge the little ones racing past, leaving sticky handprints on the freshly painted front door. I imagined our life in those perfect pictures. Greige walls (this is the new gray/beige blend, yes?). Lightly distressed farmhouse tables. White sofas. Handwoven silver and ivory rugs. Bright, bold pops of color stemming from a rustic chic metal vase. A well-placed plant boasting of a green thumb in the home perched on the windowsill over the sink. Clean. Fresh. Peaceful.
Stop! My thoughts slammed into reality like a wrecked train as I remembered the six small kids we are raising on the farm. White? Beige? Gray? Greige? What was I thinking? My children and their constant fascination with dirt leave their marks on everything they touch. Sometimes I can remove the marks with a magic eraser. Other times a faint stain remains.
Removing Stains from Pinterest-perfection
Those marks remind me of my own filth. We all make bad choices and leave behind marks just like my children leave in our home. When we choose wrong, we leave similar marks on our lives like obvious imperfections in a white home.
Maybe it starts with something seemingly small, like a wayward thought we wouldn’t want anyone to know. Or maybe we let our emotions determine our choices and regret fills our mind and hearts while simultaneously refusing to let go causing unnecessary stress. Maybe we’ve lost all self-control, figuring this path of wrong choices is so far from right there’s no turning back.
The Bible calls it “sin” and it’s impossible to remove with a magic eraser.
Praise the Lord the story doesn’t end there. In our own power, we can remove dirty handprints from white walls and leave little to no evidence of the mess. But in our own lives, we don’t have the power to remove the black stains of sin marring our lives.
But wait—isn’t our society saturated with sin? If this so-called sin permeates our lives, how on earth can we remove it?
The answer doesn’t lie in the earth, but in Jesus Christ. The Bible says if we confess our sins to him (God), he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness (1 John 1:9, NLT).
While it sounds so simple, the strongholds of sin leave us struggling like a fly caught in a spider’s web. Which way do we go? What do we choose? How do we free ourselves?
So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls (James 1:21, NLT).
Jesus, in all his power and perfection, replaces our filth with forgiveness when we ask and leaves us white as snow (Isaiah 1:18).
Are you holding yourself captive in sin? Are these strongholds strangling you, blinding you to the freedom we find in Jesus Christ?
Finding Freedom in Christ
Freedom in Christ is mind-boggling. It’s hard to wrap our finite minds around how an infinite God can remove our sins, setting us free to follow him. A few weeks ago, after reading Psalm 103:12 aloud to the kids, they wondered how far the east is from the west. Reaching behind me, I grabbed our globe and set it on the table before them. I reminded them which direction east and west are, re-read the verse and gave the globe a spin. I told them to stop the globe when the east reached the west.
He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west, (Psalm 103:12, NLT).
One by one, I watched them realize the two will never meet. That sin in your life you’re ready to get rid of? God promises to forgive us when we ask, removing our sins as far as the east is from the west. The freedom we find in Christ when we confess our sin far outweighs the strongholds of sin weighing us down. Those choices you have to make today? Will they glorify you–or Jesus Christ?
Here are several verses for further study:
- Romans 3:23, 10; 5:12; 6:23; 5:8; 10:9-10, 13, 17
Come back next week as we see the lasting impressions our choices leave on our family and the future they’ll form from them. It’s scarier than we realize.
Maybe you’re reading this and thinking it’s heavy. Sin seems like an antiquated word, one you’re unsure about. If that’s you and you have questions, send me a message on Facebook or at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to chat more about it with you. <3