In the book of Psalms, David brings to light the way God works with us regrading our failures and mistakes: Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man (person) unto whom the Lord imputes not iniquity. This word impute is best understood as a legal term that charges something to a person, or to someones account in a judicial manner, so that the thing imputed becomes the basis of reward or punishment. Although a system of reward and punishment is the common path to maintain an orderly society through laws and the judiciary, God has a very different way to deal with our failures and mistakes. God has the judicial will and authority to absolve our sins, to make us blameless. This heavenly pardon for our spiritual crimes is the chief ingredient baked into the Christian experience.
If we are willing to ask God for forgiveness and take responsibility for our failures, God has promised that he will not charge us with our failures and mistakes. Although in this case we would be in right standing with God, it should be understood that societal lawlessness and social misdeeds do not fall under this iron-clad promise. So to speak, there is a difference between heavenly and earthly business. However as with God, if we are in right standing with Him, in time we often find relief and restoration in all areas of our lives. The Scriptures reveal that we reap what we sow, but it is also written in the Bible that if we sow repentance (changing and accepting responsibility) we will reap mercy. We have every reason to hope for the best on earth as we receive the best from heaven.
David made some very big mistakes in his lifetime: He asked God for forgiveness for all of them. His prayers in the book of Psalms are some of the most riveting and passionate petitions of repentance and forgiveness ever written. David took responsibly for his failures and became a better man. In fact, as his own writings reveal his experience with failure, he was blameless in God’s sight, so much so that Jesus himself was called the Son of David. His spiritual cleansing and restoration encourages us that there is hope regardless of the gravity of our sins. We learn that God will judicially set aside our sins and step in releasing us from the harder emotional churning of guilt and shame. Although we might have some earthly repercussions as David did, they will not be unbearable, and most importantly we will be in right standing with God. Our past failures will no longer identify us, our self image will dramatically improve, we will be forgiven, feel less guilt and shame, we will have hope for the future, we will be blessed!
Joseph C. Hutchison
Rochester Hills, Michigan
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