There are three common but unhelpful ways of dealing with our failures and sins.
First, there is denial. We tell ourselves that everybody has problems, so it doesn't really matter. Nothing of any value comes from this effort to cover-up.
A second unhelpful strategy is to blame others for what has happened. This can range from different versions of 'the-devil-made-me-do-it' to 'I'm just a product of my environment'. Nothing of any value comes from this effort to cover-up.
Thirdly, instead of turning the emotional energy outwards in blame we can turn it against ourselves as self-loathing. We see ourselves as monsters and what we have done as unforgivable. Nothing of value comes from this effort to atone for our own sins.
God invites us to another path. God invites us to be transformed. God invites us to stop denying, blaming and catastrophizing about our lives. In order to change and grow we need to face the reality of our actions and attitudes.
We need to understand that our sins are like scarlet, like crimson.
They are life-draining. Destructive.
But we are forgivable. We are invited to receive forgiveness.
And we are invited to change.
The life-draining behaviors that we have pursued can be changed. Changed from bright red to snow white. We do not have to let denial, blame and shame lock us into destructive, hurtful patterns. We can be clean and sober.
White as snow.
Lord, free me from denial.
The pretense is choking me to death.
Lord, free me from blame.
It's not working for me anymore.
Lord, free me from self-loathing
The shame is killing me.
Help me to face the truth.
Help me to accept your offer of forgiveness and change.
Make me white as snow.
Make me as clean and pure as new wool.
Copyright Dale and Juanita Ryan
National Association for Christian Recovery