As I have mentioned before, we recently moved house and our beautiful new home has lovely, freshly painted walls. No grubby finger prints or hand smudges going up the stairs or marks on the walls from whatever that smudge was. It was so lovely for everywhere to be clean and fresh and new. My intenion to keep it that way, well for as long as possible.
In an attempt to start off how I wanted to continue, we all sat down on our first weekend and wrote our new family code. This was like a set of rules/guidelines that we all decided together after some discussion. We designed and listed them on a big poster and hung it in the kitchen. along with a chore rota…which, well leaves a lot to be desired right now.
The code included things like bedtimes, and respect, and cleaning up after you make a mess. Among my own contributions were no farting in Mum’s room (boys’ mums, you feel me), no phones at dinner table and no food in the bedrooms. If you had witnessed the mess I found under a certain young man’s bed (who shall reamain nameless) while clearing my old house you would understand why it was so important for me to include this in the code; it was minging…
So not more than three weeks in and I was in changing bed sheets. As I pulled one of the beds from the wall and squeezed down the space I created, I noticed two dirty big brown drip lines down behind the radiator. On closer inspection, quickly it was identified as a chocolate milkshake form McDonalds; a drink only one one my boys drinks, no need for an investigation into the guilty party. My suspicions had lead me to believe that my son had taken it to his room, set it on window sill while gaming. Obviously at some point knocked it off and some had gone down the back of the radiator. It was almost all cleaned up apart from the bits he couldn’t mange to sort out alone.
Almost a complete cover up to the untrained eye, but not to a mummy! Because everyone knows mummies know everything; it’s our SUPERPOWER!! Yes, my beautiful boy, who will remain anonymous, broke the code that was in place to prevent the very thing that happened happening. To be honest, I didn’t feel it was a big deal, but there was a lesson to be learnt about safe boundaries (that’s a whole other blog) and honesty. So when I had to confront him about it, with a red face of shame or embarrassment, or maybe fear, had to admit his mistake and acknowledge what he thought he had hidden well from me actually required my help, but he was too ashammed because he knew he had broken our code and this guilt and shame caused him to try and hide and cover up his mistake.
You don’t have to look to far in the Bible to find an example of this. Adam and Eve had the most beautiful, perfect home you could imagine, and they only had one rule in their family code, given to them by their Daddy, God. Do Not eat from the forbidden tree. We all know they did and their bad choice had catastrophic consequences; they introduced sin into the world. They also tried to cover up their mistake and on realising they were naked they tried to cover up with fig leaves.
But God knew, because he is an all seeing, all knowing God, and there is nothing that we can hide from him. He also knew those fig leaves were not going to do the job of covering up their shame, so he sacrificed the first ever animal to make them clothes from animal skin
“And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.”
Genesis 3:21 NLT
Not only did God give them clothing to cover their shame, he declared war on sin itself and promised a Saviour, a deliverer, another sacrifice, the Lamb of God. His sacrifice would cover all our sins and transgressions, our mistakes, and replace our guilt and shame with a robe of righteousness.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
John 1:29 NLT
My son‘s bid to hide the evidence is not unusual. For many years I have battled with similar issues when I mess up, when I get it wrong, when I do something the Bible clearly gives me guidelines against for my own protection to help keep my life clean and free from guilt and shame. when I get myself in a mess and try to cover up or fix my mistake myself. Because, when I do mess up, usually, not always but more often than not, I will turn away from God and allow my guilt and shame to create a divide between us.
Like I wish my son had come to me immediately, because the truth is the mess he made he just couldn’t clean himself, when we make mistakes, on the surface it may look like we have done a good job of hiding the evidence, but there are parts of our guilt and shame we hide in our hearts that only God has the power to clean up, through his loving forgiveness.
Today can I encourage you, no matter how big or small your mistake, no matter how well you think it’s cleaned up or hidden, will you take that mistake, that guilt, that sin, that shame go to your Daddy, God, and allow him to do a proper clean up job on it. Allow him to clean up the messy bit that is well hidden, that only you know about, and allow him to give you your new robe of righteouness and the freedom that comes with not carrying the shame that Jesus died on the cross to buy you.
“Instead of shame and dishonor, you will enjoy a double share of honor. You will possess a double portion of prosperity in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.”
Isaiah 61:7 NLT
When WE mess up… it’s called sin, but it’s such a heavy word I prefer not to use it. In today’s culture, people identify sin as maybe murder or stealing when the truth is sin is anything that is not of God’s will., all that is laid out in the guildlines of the Bible for us. The enemy wants to convince us to keep away from God, to distance ourselves from him, because we are not “perfect” (news flash, we never will be till we get to heaven). He loves to feed us lies, tell us our mistake is too much, too big, that we are too far gone, that we did it again even when we promised not to. That is when we feel shame…that feeling of shame comes from the enemy. Only good comes from God, so it would be impossible for God to give us the feeling of guilt or shame.
“So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Romans 8:1 NLT
TRUTH…. The devil is a liar, master deceiver, his only goal is to take you down and keep you there.
TRUTH…. we could never ever make any mistake God can’t fix. We are never too far gone that one prayer to God can’t bring us back. Whether it’s been ten minutes or ten years, God is waiting and ready for you… GO TO HIM!