Thursday, July 22, 2010


God's grace is the strangest, most foreign concept in all the world. There is a certain radical unfairness about not getting what I deserve, and receiving what I haven't earned. There is certainly nothing quite analogous to it in my human interactions and experience. I think that's at least part of the reason why I find confessing my sins difficult (other than pride, I mean). I think sometimes it's just hard for me to accept and really believe the idea that God grants forgiveness as soon as I willingly repent and confess. 1 John 1:9 is about as radical a truth as I've ever encountered: "cleanse us from all unrighteousness" if we simply confess?

I confess that there is a big part of me which wants to try to do something after the fact which will clean me up and make me more presentable to God (at least in my eyes), rather than simply coming as I am, a broken and dirty ragamuffin, weighed down by the consequences of my own sinfulness, and deeply in need of cleansing and unburdening. I want to somehow work my way back to where I was before I fell into sin. But that's emphatically not what God expects of me. In fact, He finds my attempts at righteousness apart from Him offensive, because they indicate that I believe such a thing is possible, in spite of my fallenness when His Word says it is not. I can't make up for past failure by better performance in the future. I can simply receive forgiveness-wild, untamed, unearned, unmerited and free, against which nothing in this world compares and to which the only appropriate reaction is awestruck worship and thankfulness.

Sometimes a lyric says it better than I can. Here's some wise words from an old school Christian rocker:
What do I see
You draggin' up here
Is that for your atoning?
I know you're sorry
I've seen your tears
You don't have to show Me
What makes you think you must
Make that go away
I forgot
When I forgave
I wish you would

Just come in
Just leave that right here
Love does not care
Just come in
Lay your heart right here
You should never fear

You think you've crossed
Some sacred line
And now I will ignore you
If you look up
You will find
My heart is still toward you
Look at the sky
The east to the west
That's where I threw this
When you first confessed
Let it go now


I will forgive you
No matter what you've done
No matter how many times
You turn and run
I love you
I wish you'd come



Alissa said...

Haven't heard this song in awhile...but it definitely is a great one. :)

Mom said...

What a great reminder. I am always deeply moved when I consider my own depravity and the depths of His love for me. Amazing.