Also for the man and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them. Genesis 3:21
Our popular image of right and wrong leads us to imagine right being rewarded and wrong punished. Yet, God doesn’t operate on this polarity. Certainly there are consequences from bad decisions, yet these are less a punishment than a simple reality. King David’s poor decision making had dire consequences, yet God still loved and blessed him with the title, a man after God’s own heart.
There’s always a temptation to wallow in self-pity once our indiscretion has been unearthed. As a child I remember sitting alone in my bedroom, where my parents’ had sent me, fuming with self-righteous rage. Why is it I feel the need to justify my wrongdoing? All part of the tension between working with or against God.
Of course, the wonderful news is that God forgives and accepts those who regret their indiscretions and freely confess them. This was King David’s path. Whilst he could not avoid the consequences, he was once again clothed in righteousness by God. Here Adam and Eve face the harsh truth following their poor choice. Yet even on the threshold of Paradise, God clothes them for the realities that lay beyond its gates.
Prayer serves us in recovering our relationship with God. Once the bravado of my self-righteousness wanes, I can drop to my knees and seek God’s forgiveness. I do not need to twist God’s arm; only admit my wrongdoing with integrity, ask forgiveness and redirect my steps as I continue God’s way. We can never outrun God’s grace; we can only choose to reject it and continue on our own. After confessing to God we exchange our rags for the fine clothing of humility, love and patience. God remains the finest fashion outfitter we can turn to.
Something to Consider:
What ‘clothing’ do you want to pass on from your life?
An Action to Take: Jot down your own simple prayer of confession on your mobile and return to it regularly throughout your day.
A Prayer to Make: ‘Lord, might I be swift in returning to You when I am wrong and recover grace.’
Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.
Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash
Used with Permission