By: Staci Stallings
It’s Lent. For those of you who don’t know, to a Catholic that means giving things up and reminding ourselves of our sinfulness. Now let me make one thing very clear. We are sinners. None of us could ever get into Heaven on our own. I don’t care how gracious, how scrupulous, how holy you are, we have ALL fallen short of the glory of God. On our own, we’re sunk. It is only by reaching out to Jesus and accepting the salvation He offers us that we can bridge the enormous gap between where we are and where God is.
I believe this with everything in me. I know it is only by falling on God’s mercy and love that I could ever be worthy enough to stand before the throne of God.
But sometimes I think we take this a little too far, or hold onto it a little too long.
Recently I went to a service that featured rocks–the kind we throw at each other, the kind that have been thrown at us. Now I believe that to be true. We have thrown rocks at each other, and we have definitely had them thrown at us. But after the service we were asked to take a few rocks with us as a reminder of the times we have thrown rocks and to remember not to throw them in the future. To some extent, I can see the validity in that, but since going through God’s Intense Love Training Bootcamp, I just don’t believe that’s the way we were meant to live–holding onto rocks.
God designed us to be a channel for Him into this world. We are to relinquish our hold on everything so that He can work through us, and that includes the rocks. Of course we’re not supposed to throw them anymore, but to commit yourself to holding onto them to remind yourself not to is, to me, to miss the point. If you are walking in God’s love and grace, walking in the joy of having been set free by what Jesus did on the cross for you, you don’t have to “remember not to throw rocks,” you wouldn’t throw them even if you had them. You just don’t see people that way anymore. You don’t see their guilt. When your guilt has been removed, you only see God’s great love–for you and for everyone else.
God did not mean for us to live burdened and weighed down by rocks of sin and guilt. He came so that we can be FREE.
So while I understand holding the rocks to understand what we do to one another, there comes a time when you need to put the rock down, to exchange it for what God is holding out to you–a life you simply can never live by holding onto the rocks.
What God holds out to you is life and His love in abundance. So I encourage you today to take your rocks to God, tell Him you are really sorry, and then accept the forgiveness He gives you in return. Stop holding onto the rocks. Step into new life!
That’s the way God wants you to live!