I can remember this preacher once tell this story of a father who was trying to help his child identify the bad things the child did. Time has blurred some of the words but basically the father put a board up on the wall and every time the child did something wrong the father would put a nail in the board. When the child asked for forgiveness the father removed the nail, which the father noticed the child was still upset even after the nail was removed. Why would the child still be upset even though the nail representing the wrong doing was removed. The child told his father that even when the nail was taken out it left a hole where it was pounded in.
In life itself does merely asking for forgiveness enough? Does the simple act of confession completely erase our transgressions? Of course there certainly more expected of you than saying “yep, I did it, I’m sorry, please forgive me” and you need to mean it when you promise not to do it again. But it certainly seems that after asking for forgiveness the shameful guilt can linger long after the sin was washed away.
I realize the concept is to forgive and forget but many of us are much too hard on ourselves. Surely the goal is to be right with the Almighty when our judgement day comes and although we are not perfect, we need to try to live a righteous life. This becomes challenging when the ghost of your past continues to haunt you. To add to this challenge, it seems as if each church has organized its own set of rules and obligations. It also seems as if some of these church goers can be the most judgmental Christians of them all. After all of the social tragedies of high school now at adults we must find a church where we fit in and are accepted or not go at all.
This constant reminder of the sins you committed can make one feel that all wasn’t forgiven or maybe not forgotten. Certainly this is an evil act trying to make you feel that you are not worthy. It doesn’t help to look around and feel as if there are others whom seem to be a bit more worthy than thou. Who determines what it is to be righteous? Is this definition of man or is it Divine? It makes me a little jealous to see others who can easily forgive and forget and continue one with their righteous lives without any doubt that all is good in their world.
When a young bride weds she often will wear white as a sign of her purity. When we pass we will be dressed in black, gray, blue, or any other color other than white, to show our sense of purity. For me it seems as if the color of my suit would be less relevant than the number of nail holes from all the nails removed from the boards. Fore I have sinned and I have regretted, I asked for forgiveness and I wish I could just take back the sin to begin with. Long after the world around me forgets of my wrongdoing, I will still know the status of my righteousness for I know each and every one of those scars left by those nails.