I offer my life to you, Lord.
2 My God, I trust you.
Please don’t let me be put to shame!
Don’t let my enemies rejoice over me!
3 For that matter,
don’t let anyone who hopes in you
be put to shame;
instead, let those who are treacherous without excuse be put to shame.
4 Make your ways known to me, Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth—teach it to me—
because you are the God who saves me.
I put my hope in you all day long.
6 Lord, remember your compassion and faithful love—
they are forever!
7 But don’t remember the sins of my youth or my wrongdoing.
Remember me only according to your faithful love
for the sake of your goodness, Lord.
Do you ever lay your head on your pillow at night, tired from the long day you had, just to find that that is the exact time your brain decides to think about that time 10 years ago when you said something that accidently hurt someone’s feelings? I’m with you. Just as verse 7 of today’s passage reads, I often hope that people don’t remember the sins of my youth and my wrongdoings. Don’t worry, I spend more than enough time remembering them all on my own.
When these happenings of the past haunt me – I find that sometimes it was me saying something out of ignorance or doing something because I didn’t know better; but other times it is really just me remembering that I made the wrong choice. Of course, the right and wrong choice tends to be easier to see afterward, but when I think about these things, I’m often (just as the Psalmist is saying), am filled with guilt and shame.
How could I have ever said such a thing?
What was I thinking?
I should have known better.
It’s one thing to know that Christ has forgiven us. It’s another thing to live like we know that Christ has forgiven us. When such memories weigh me down, I work really hard to give thanks that I can now recognize what I said or did as wrong. That’s truly a blessing. Being embarrassed by what once was means that we’ve grown and learned better. It means that we have put in the work.
So if you find yourself refilling your coffee cup this morning from another night of restlessness, remember this: God has forgiven us. God is of compassion and faithful love. God celebrates the growth seen when we say, “Now I know better.”
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
What obstacles stand in your way of offering yourself forgiveness? When has someone else forgiven you? What was that experience like?
Prayer: Gracious Lord, you long for us to live a life free from shame. You long to guide us in truth, hope and love. Help us to be people who not only know the sacrifice of Christ, but live it. Amen.