Do you ever say something and immediately wish you could take it back? Or are in the middle of a situation that is going wrong and realize it started off with some little mistakes a few months back? I think that many of us have moments that we wish we could take back or start over. For many people, thoughts of fresh starts are especially on our minds as the new year starts. We have New Year resolutations, want to make new habits, and might even find ourselves wishing for a clean slate.
The idea of a clean slate is actually pretty interesting. Imagine a blackboard that was covered in all colors of chalk from white to green to red. It has been written and drawn on over and over for months or even years, and even when you erase it there are still shadows or bits of smeared dust, left as evidence of what has been on it before. No matter how much you try to erase the slate there will still be evidence of previous use. To truly be clean and look like new, someone needs to use a sponge and clean water to clean the entire blackboard.
There are times that I just wish I could have a clean slate with somebody, or even with my life in general. I have seen people agree to a “start fresh” with a “clean slate” with somebody in their lives, and I know that I have done this before as well. But it is so much easier said than done. We are humans. No matter how close we are with God we are still broken. I think of the saying “to forgive and forget”, in reality it is more like forgive and let go.
Because no matter how much we try to forget, even if we have forgiven, things that happened in the past still affect our responses and how we see certain situations. I often get irritated when someone responds a certain way because of something I’ve done in the past, and I think “Can’t you just forget it? Can’t you give me the chance to change?”, but then time goes by and I find myself guilty of the same thing.
This is discouraging because it makes it much harder to change when you or other people cannot let go of the past. And it often makes it hard to have healthy relationships. I look around and realize that there is no human that can give me a completely clean slate. But there is God. Our amazing Creator who made and CHOSE each and everyone of us. I am so undeserving of His love.
The choices I have made have hurt Him even more than they have hurt myself or anybody else. But He, our omnipotent, perfect God, has the ability to completely forget our sins. His son took the burden of all of our sins upon himself, yet can also give us a clean slate and wipe away all reminance of our pasts? I am in awe just thinking about this. So yeah, I will never find a person in my life who I completely have a clean slate with, but I do have God. And despite everything I’ve done, He forgives me and hands me a clean slate with no evidence of my mistakes from the past. With Him, we can always start fresh.
Isaiah 43:25, “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sin no more.”