Off the Wall Forgiveness

Well, it finally happened.

We tried to avoid it as best we could. We tried instructing our daughter differently. We had only turned our back for a moment! But when we turned around, there it was—a long scribble of blue crayon across our living room wall, right along the top of the couch.

She immediately knew she had done something wrong, and repeated along with us, “Only on paper!” We told her we forgive her, and she went to bed a little early.

My two year old told me it was a picture of “the park with momma,” which is adorable, but the work of art had to come down. How do you get crayon off the wall? The internet was more than willing to help. There are dozens of do-it-yourself suggestions for removing crayon—tooth paste, WD-40, vinegar, the list goes on. Do you know what worked for me? A thin layer of mayonnaise. Crazy, right?

Sometimes we try DIY solutions to cover up our own sin. We try to remove our guilt in ways that make no sense. Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away. Lying about it only makes it spread. Making amends can’t change the past. Apologizing is a start, but only if the one you’ve hurt has the power to offer real forgiveness. The Bible tells us, “Although you wash yourself with soda and use an abundance of soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me” (Jer. 2:22). As hard as you try, you can’t remove it yourself.

So God came up with the one solution that would work—the only remedy that would remove our guilt forever. He took our sin and nailed it to the cross with Jesus. He washed us clean in his blood. Then he buried our sin with Jesus in the ground. It’s gone. It’s removed. We are cleansed by the one who truly does have the power to forgive. The solution to our biggest problem is not “Do-It-Yourself.” It’s “Done-By-Jesus”

That’s why we were able to tell Mollie we forgive her for scribbling on the wall. That’s why you are able to forgive those who hurt you. That’s why those whom you have hurt have the power to forgive you.

The blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7