“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”Proverbs 28:13 NIV
I’ve had an inexplicable lifelong love for paper. In fourth grade when I visited the class box of construction paper, it drew me in. Among the random pieces in the box were a series of strips. My teacher, Miss De Bour, had taken the paper cutter to one end of a package of assorted paper. I wanted them so I took them. I tucked them under my sweater and returned to my desk.
Miss De Bour stood near my desk as the bell rang for recess and placed her hand on my shoulder, pinning me to my seat—the silent signal to remain behind. My heart beat fast as I hoped that this was not about the paper strips. I knew stealing was wrong.
Miss De Bour gently asked what I had underneath my sweater. For a moment, I thought about claiming that my shirt was bunched up. But my conscience prompted me to come clean, and I did.
She didn’t ask why; she didn’t lecture. She smiled with forgiveness and said, “Put the paper back in the box and run out to recess.” Furthermore, she never notified my parents, and my report card did not reflect poor conduct (yes, that used to be measured and reported). She forgave me completely and wiped my slate clean.
As I sit here years later, I know that Miss De Bour modeled God’s grace to me that day. Our conscience, or if we are a Christ-follower, the Holy Spirit, nudges. When we confess, we find mercy—normally without drama.
God simply forgives and sends us on. Oh, sometimes there are consequences, but God does not lecture us, mark us as a “bad girl” or shout our transgressions to the world. He forgives. He covers our sin with His son’s blood and gives us a fresh slate each time we sin.
This appeared first in the Facebook group Balanced and Beautiful in Christ where I am a regular contributor. Thanks to Jessie Courson for the lovely artwork and to Nicole Williams for her editorial assistance.
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