We live in a society with a justice system. While sometimes flawed, it offers those who enter it the chance to prove innocence. Or at least the chance to negotiate a lighter sentence if one has no innocence to prove. As a citizen, I’ve often been frustrated at the process, but nonetheless, the process often works. With evidence, witnesses, law enforcement, various experts, a jury and a judge, this system leaves no stone unturned when prosecuting. The wrongdoings in all of their ugly detail are on display for all to see. And judge. And condemn. And not only for those in the courtroom, but for any who follow the story through any form of media. There are stories on the news today that, if I’m being honest, I’m acting as judge and jury on in my mind.
As one of those stories made its way onto the news today and my mind harshly judged an individual for his actions and perceived lack of remorse, I felt God nudging me away from my train of thought. And towards what my life would look like if put on display in a courtroom. No, I don’t have any crimes to put on display, but I certainly have shortcomings that could be put there. Shortcomings that I’d rather never have on display. Shortcomings that may change how you think of me. But don’t we all have those?
But as God showed me a picture of what my life on display for all to judge would look like, He also showed me what it looks like to Him. See, to Him, my life where I have memories of shortcomings looks like a slate wiped clean. Where I have a memory of failure, he has a beautiful clean canvas. Not because I wasn’t “guilty”, but because as my Judge, He has expunged my record. He has made new what I in my weak human nature thought I had destroyed. And if you’ve asked, He’s done it for you.
The difference in God’s justice and this world’s justice is that in God’s justice system, your wrongdoings are wiped away. Sure, you may still deal with consequences for those things, but God no longer sees the wrong. He no longer expects, or wants, you to carry the weight of that wrong. While people and man-made justice tend to not forget, or sometimes even let you move on, God fully wipes your slate clean.
If you’ve never known what it’s like to have a clean slate, God wants you to have it. If God’s given you the clean slate, but you still carry the weight of your guilt, He wants to take that from you. If man’s judgement has caused you to doubt God’s goodness, He wants you to know that a fresh start is yours if you simply ask. If you live a life judging others, He wants you to remember the times that His grace is the only reason your shortcoming hasn’t been on public display.
Ask for a clean slate today. Walk in the freedom of a clean slate. Remember that your’s hasn’t always been clean. Resign your position as judge and jury. And leave that to the only One who can truly do it fairly.