To The Cross 70 x 7 Times

It is the season of Lent and I sit here a little sad that I have shed most of my personal traditions. I stopped doing them because they were part of my old self, the guy who couldn’t accept the forgiveness of Christ, the one always trying to do things to make Him accept me. I also sit here chewing the cud of feedback I got today about how I am always trying to please people.

As I sit here, chewing bitterly, I jump back to the book I read 2 years ago, Not I, But Christ. It was a book I had read before but wasn’t quite ready for when I read it the first time. The second time around I learned we have to constantly put our old self on the cross and live a new life to Christ. Salvation is a single act, but sanctification is the continual return to Christ, dying to sin and living to Christ.

Currently, I am reading Reflections on the Psalms by C.S. Lewis (my favorite). He was talking about how we are not only to forgive 70×7 sins, but also to forgive the same sin 70×7 times. I had never considered it that way before.

This is how our walk with God goes. We die to our self, begin a new life in Christ, sin, redeemed, die to self…..over and over again. It is a progressive cycle though, so don’t lose heart. We are essentially falling forward until we land on Christ. We sin in different ways, but we also sin the same way over and over again. To think that we are forgiven of a sin and will never return to it is naivety.

These ideas culminated into a frustrating sense of failure. I thought I had finally gotten rid of that person who felt he needed to please God. I’m now someone who accepts that I am accepted. Like my own daughters need not do anything for me to pull them into the fullness of what I can give. But here I am, struggling with being a “pleaser,” trying to earn God’s good grace again.

That’s the benefit of celebrating Lent and Easter every year. The seasons are a progressive cycle, much like our life. This is our time to focus on our return to the cross and new life in Christ and every year we will fall a little closer to Christ.

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