“I take my [biblical] text and make a beeline for the cross.”- Charles Haddon Spurgeon
In Chapter 7 (“Factory Reset”) of If, Mark Batterson emphasizes that “if you fear God, you have nothing else to fear.” All your other fears are served an eviction notice, because it is impossible for fear to coexist with the perfect love of God.
Yet, Pastor Batterson observes, we are prone to remember our mistakes more readily than our successes. Thus we find it harder to forgive ourselves than we do to receive God’s forgiveness. Mark succinctly summarizes:
“We tend to remember what we should forget and forget what we should remember.”
Mark states that the part of the brain responsible for storing emotional memories is the amygdala. The strength of any specific emotion dictates the strength of the memory. Strong emotions, like shame, take sinful snapshots and turn them into posters. As the author puts it, “they get blown out of proportion in the darkroom of the mind.”
The battlefront is the imagination when it comes to what if possibilities. However, our memory can become a no-man’s land when it comes to if only regrets. That is why we need to make a beeline for the cross. The cross of Jesus Christ is the thing we must remember most and the thing we can least afford to forget.
Generic confessions are weak and ineffective. It isn’t enough to be sorry in a general sense. You need to know specifically what you are sorry for, because the ultimate goal of confession isn’t forgiveness- it’s change. In your confession, you being with symptoms and work your way to the root of the problem.
Mark concludes: “You have to name your sin so you can claim God’s mercy.”
Today’s question: What Bible verses or spiritual disciplines put you on a beeline for the cross? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Nuanced confession”