Release the Hurtful Stains of Your Past

What spots of sin do you return to again and again?

Posted in , Jan 13, 2020

A golden retriever and a cat relaxing on a white carpet.

Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame. —1 Corinthians 15:33–35 (NIV)

There is a spot in my new house where the carpet is old. From the moment I bought this house, I planned to replace it with floors I can mop. I soon found out that other pets had left their scent at one particular spot in this carpet and, though to our human noses we were none the wiser, my pets found it nearly impossible to pass the spot without quickly marking its territory. Dogs that had been house-trained for years could not resist the urge to leave their mark. When corrected and asked to stop, they would run and hide in shame.

No matter how many times I cleaned the spot, I would find a wet circle every few days. God has a way of getting my attention, even if it involves something as simple and unpleasant as urine stains.

I asked God to show me a lesson in this constant return to a dirty spot even when dogs were given a perfectly acceptable alternative. And as clearly as if God were sitting at my kitchen table, I realized I return to the same spots of sin in my life.

If a person has betrayed me, I will return to his or her social media and ruminate on the betrayal, wishing for him or her to get what he or she deserves. Resentments are like returning to a bad stain, hanging out in an unpleasant place repeating sin. This is not what God has for me. We can replace the carpet in our home, but we often forget we can replace the stains in our heart. It is not God’s plan that we return to the pain of our mistakes once they’ve been forgiven.

Do not return to the hurtful stains of your past. Walk into the new light of love God has for you.

Excerpted from All God's Creatures. 

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