Remember the time when…

November 16, 2010

 

From Mark Twain’s Mysterious Stranger: 

   “Once when we were nine years old he went a long errand of nearly two miles for the fruiterer, who gave him a splendid big apple for reward, and he was flying home with it, almost beside himself with astonishment and delight, and I met him, and he let me look at the apple, not thinking of treachery, and I ran off with it, eating it as I ran, he following me and begging; and when he overtook me I offered him the core, which was all that was left; and I laughed. Then he turned away, crying, and said he had meant to give it to his little sister. That smote me, for she was slowly getting well of a sickness, and it would have been a proud moment for him, to see her joy and surprise and have her caresses. But I was ashamed to say I was ashamed, and only said something rude and mean, to pretend I did not care, and he made no reply in words, but there was a wounded look in his face as he turned away toward his home which rose before me many times in after years, in the night, and reproached me and made me ashamed again. It had grown dim in my mind, by and by, then it disappeared; but it was back now, and not dim.”

 You ever get that? that repetitious, remorseful reminder of failures to be righteous or wise?

 I do… alot lately, as a matter of fact.

 Thank God for His merciful forgiveness… and grace to go on living…

FOR Him.

Romans 6:10-11 “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Philippians 3:12-14 “Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Sometimes I want to ask God if he can just let that one sin slide, or let some long-standing consequence, or guilt-feeling just slip off my back… But… I think part of repentance is realizing that the consequences aren’t wiped away. The ultimate consequence for my sin was suffered, full-force, by Christ on the cross, and the side-consequences -those here-and-now, cause=effect consequences- are very real, and very necessary chastening, from a loving Father, who wants to grow me into a man with a character that mirrors His Son’s. (And oh, how often, I want that too. I’m just so inconstant.)

May God grant me focus for fidelity.

Now, I will praise Him again for His forgiveness, for- wait… My question still remains.

What are you to do with the persisting earthly consequences of an haunting past-wrong?

 Live with your friend’s “wounded look in his face” recurring in your mind, your whole life through?

 Is there some way to uneat the girl’s apple? Is that what God would have us do? -Somehow make pennance? (Not for salvation, but as part of submitting to His chastening.)

Confess, maybe? 

Confession, I believe God tells us, should happen.

James 5:16 “Confess faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” 

I’m thinking maybe this speaks to the issue, as well, but not quite sure how:

Matt 5:23-24 “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”

Anyway, I am thankful for God’s gift of forgiveness, and for Christ’s obedience unto death… and for His strength in ressurection…

Praise God for his wisdom, love, and grace. =) …and His discipline.

-MAC <>< = )

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