Then Peter begins to speak: “I now truly understand that God does not show favoritism.” Acts 10:34 BSB
I can recall a movie entitled, “The Scarlet Letter” which was adapted from the 1850 novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne which explored the guilt, ostracism, and sin from a married woman conceiving a child from an extramarital affair. Although she repented and attempted to move forward, the Puritanical Mindset that certain sins carried a “forever punishment” prevailed in her community.
The puritanical mindset has had a stronghold on many Believers in God throughout the history of Christianity, and it still exists. Often we are unable to forgive and forget the sins of others, and we carry the “forever guilt” of our own sins, especially the sins that have ongoing reminders of the consequences.
However, Christianity is built upon the principles of forgiveness, and repentance, not punishment, and the shaming of the guilty. The Bible emphasizes that God is just in all of His ways. We can be reassured of God’s acceptance of our repentance by His complete forgiveness of our sins.
He will again have compassion on us; he will vanquish our iniquity. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19 CSB
God accepts a humble, contrite, and repentant heart. He sacrificed His only Son–Jesus that we may have an opportunity for Eternal life.
There is therefore now, no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. Romans 8:1
Regardless of the sin, it is an injustice to give ourselves or others a “Scarlet Letter”. We have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus which abolishes all the guilt and remembrance of our sins.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Challenge for today: Forgive yourself and forgive others.
Prayer for today: Dear God, Please help me to stop punishing myself and others for past sins. I ask you to forgive me of my sins, past and present, and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness and fill me with your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Sonya Johnson Ruiz