It is true that our God is a Holy God and God hates sin. That will never change. However, through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are completely pardoned of our guilt and forgiven of every sin. When we confess and repent – sincerely, with not even one shred of self-justification, nor any blaming of anyone else for the sinful choices we have made – our God delights to forgive us and show us the fullness of His mercy!
God actively and intentionally separates us from our sins. Our Lord Jesus completely crushes them under His nail-pierced feet. And with His nail-scarred hands, He flings them forever into the depths of the sea. Never to disrupt our relationship with our Holy God again.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea. – Micah 7:18-19
Our God compassionately chooses to completely forgive us of each of our sins and free us from all the power of shame and guilt-ridden entrapment those sins would hold over our lives. In Jesus Christ our sins have been thoroughly and eternally punished. On the cross, even in His agony, Jesus cried out in victory, “It is finished!” And He meant it.
When we confess and ask our Holy God to forgive us for all the stupid, ugly, dark, evil sins that we all have done – He does. In His unfathomable, unfailing love, God removes all of the blame and all of the shame of all our sins – taking them in His Holy Arms, those same Holy Arms that were once outstretched on the cross, and hurls them into the depths of the sea!
So, Darlin’s, that means: No fishing allowed!
Do not go grabbing for your Shame-On-Me-Fishing-Pole to continually drag out your sins and beat yourself up over and over and over again for the sins you have sincerely confessed, and from which you have truly repented. (If you haven’t, then, that’s another matter altogether.)
That Shame-On-Me-Fishing-Pole is really built from pride, not humility. It is pride that keeps us entrapped in the pain, the embarrassment and the shock over the fact that we could have sinned in such a way (whatever that way was). It is pride that keeps us from accepting the full truth that only in Jesus are we forgiven. The full truth that we cannot add anything to the work Jesus completed on the cross for our forgiveness. We cannot make ourselves any more forgiven by staying in a state of remorse. Our sins are ugly. The remorse we feel should only bring us, in full humility, to the foot of the cross so we will let the blood of Jesus completely cover all our sins. In humility, there is freedom. Our sins and our shame have been hurled into the depths of the sea, never to be seen again. In humility, we celebrate the grace and truth that it was Jesus who put up that sign: No fishing allowed!
So! Don’t even go there! Don’t go to that place where your heart is entrapped in pride and shame. No fishing allowed! Instead, take up your Freedom-Fishing-Pole, follow Jesus and become fishers of men and women!