Psalm 32:1, 2 NIV “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.”
“What is Dad going to say?” Marcus questioned his mother as she wiped his tears with a cool rag trying to calm him down after the fight he had with the neighborhood bully. Marcus could not help himself, something came over him, the persistent taunting, name calling, and arm bending had gone on long enough; and then the bully crossed the line and pushed Marcus’ little brother into the hedge. Marcus surprised the bully as he tackled him to the ground and like a possessed man Marcus began swinging and swinging and he began to speak in the forbidden language of his father. It was Marcus’ mother who pulled him from the now slightly bloodied and somewhat bruised one time bully.
“I don’t think your father needs to know about this”, she reassured her son with a loving embrace. Marcus breathed in deeply the relief and the incident was never mentioned again. It was not until years later that Marcus discovered that his mother had explained the whole incident to his father that night. Yet he was never punished for his actions or his words; a rush of love warmed his heart as he realized the love his parents had for him.
“Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered”. There is no better feeling in the world than to have been forgiven as King David explains. When somebody we have wronged or sinned against has forgiven we can breathe “in deeply the relief”; a sense of freeness often floods our hearts as the shackles of the sin are unlocked. Though we feel “blessed” when someone forgives us of a “worldly” sin (man against man) many Christians continue to walk handcuffed and bound by their sinful nature, their “spiritual” sins (man against God). “I am a sinner”, “I am a sinner”, “I am a sinner” they continue to cry; never able to wrap their heads around the concept of God’s forgiveness.
If God is the foundation on which we are built and Jesus Christ is the cornerstone or “capstone”; then forgiveness is the key which unlocks we are in Christ. Christians can believe God as Creator, the Almighty, read and hear the Word and attend church thereby laying the foundation for their lives on “solid ground”, but never unlock their true selves. Christians can believe that Jesus is the Son of God that He died on the Cross, and rose again after three days thereby establishing the “trueness” from which our lives are built, but never know their true selves. It is not until Christians are able to wrap their heads around the concept of forgiveness that we are able to enter into the light and find our true selves. Forgiveness unlocks who we are in Christ and reveals the true beauty, true magnificence, and the true splendor of our true selves. We are only able to peak through the windows and take in only glimpses of what God created us to be until we unlock the door with the Key of Forgiveness.
When we use a key the first step is to slide it into the keyhole. This step is so obvious and is performed so unconsciously that it is the easiest to overlook, yet the task of opening the door or unlocking the handcuffs cannot be completed until this first step is taken. This first step is the acceptance of God’s forgiveness for you. Romans 3:23 tells us, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”; the first step to acceptance is the understanding of our need for forgiveness. If you call yourself a Christian you generally understand this truth; if you are not a Christian take a long minute to ponder that passage. The problem is that many of us stop here; we find the right keyhole (which is very important, so many people are trying to unlock the door but are trying to use the wrong keyhole. Here is a secret: there is only one right keyhole), we line the key up, but never slide the key into the hole because we cannot get passed this “I am a sinner” mentality. Read the next verse, “and are justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus (the only keyhole by the way)”. Justified and redemption are legal terms which mean “set free”, “released from”, and my favorite “wiped clean”. Through the blood of Christ we are forgiven, as King David put it, “Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him.” Accepting God’s forgiveness is the first step to unlocking who we are in Christ; slide the key into the keyhole.
Next we must turn the key. The Lord said “Forgive us of our debts (sins), as we also have forgiven our debtors (those who have sinned against us)”. Turning the key involves forgiving those who have wronged or sinned against you. In Ephesians 4:32 the Apostle Paul explains why, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”. God forgave us first, “while we were sinners”. If we understand, accept, and embrace this concept; we have slid the key into the keyhole and have turned the key. Forgiveness (the key) now sets the process in motion; the key turns a tumbler or ignites a fire it sets in motion the process of unlocking, of releasing, of opening. Jesus tells us that we are to “first reconcile with your brother” (Mat 5:24); before we are able to unlock our true selves we must first turn the key and forgive those who have sinned against us, because God has forgiven us. The process of freeing has to be set in motion.
Push the door open and discover your true self. Enter into the Light; allow it to consume all your darkness. Step into the freedom of your true self; leave the shackles that have bound you to this world at the door and walk into your true home. The Bible tells us that we were created in the image of God. I look in the mirror and I pray that God does not look like this old, gray, fat hunk of deteriorating flesh that I see because this cannot be the image of God. God is a spiritual being and that is the image of our true selves. We are aliens on this earth, pilgrims on a journey, we are not of this world, but have inherited (only through forgiveness; His of our sins, and us of others sins) the kingdom of God. We are spiritual beings who were created in the image of and therefore posses the characteristics of God, love, kindness, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. This is who we truly are; created to glorify God’s Holy name always by living as our true selves.
We spend millions of dollars on self help books, psychiatry, and counseling trying to unlock the door to our true selves. We spend countless hours on the internet seeking “words of wisdom”, for the latest “trend”, or the latest and greatest teachings from the hottest guru. We look to the alignment of the stars, the meaning of a number, the energy from a rock, the vibrations of a chant, or the image of a “god” to try and find our inner self. For $5.00 we can possess the only book that can reveal the secrets (which is no secret at all) to unlocking our true self; the Bible. If you do not have $5.00 email me and I will send you all the secrets of the universe and the power to unlock the door to your true self. The key is forgiveness, accept His forgiveness of your sins, forgive others of their sins and unlock the shackles which bind you. Allow yourself to be forgiven; not by forgiving yourself first, but by allowing the redeeming blood of Christ Jesus to wash you clean. Then by releasing the anger, hate, and fear that binds you by freeing those who have hurt you. Forgiveness is the key which unlocks your true self; the image of God.