The Shredder

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“As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” –Psalm 103:12

We have a shredder in our office at home. We take stuff like credit card receipts and copies of documents that have sensitive information and put them through the shredder.

I learned a few months ago that there is a new spiritual practice called “Shredding.” One man said, “I envision lists of my mistakes and sins kept somewhere by the Devil himself. I picture Jesus taking those lists and running them through the shredder. Evidence

destroyed. Gone forever.”

One woman said, “It’s a strange way of letting go of the past. It was my 25th high school reunion recently, and high school wasn’t great for me, so I didn’t go. And then I realized that I had all this stuff, old high school pictures, and I didn’t know why I was saving it. I was like, ‘Do I need this stuff in my life?’ So I shredded it. I shredded my prom picture. It was liberating.”

Shredding as a spiritual practice. Get rid of all that stuff, all those old insults and injuries and unkindnesses and carelessness. Why are you hanging on to them? Run ‘em through the spiritual shredder.

Since 2006, a group of people have celebrated an unusual event around the New Year. It’s called Good Riddance Day. Based on a Latin American tradition, individuals write down unpleasant, embarrassing memories and bad issues from the past year and throw them into an industrial-strength shredder. Or some take a sledgehammer to their good riddance item.

The writer of Psalm 103 goes beyond suggesting that people say good riddance to unpleasant memories. He reminded us that God bids good riddance to our sins. In his attempt to express God’s vast love for His people, the psalmist used word pictures. He compared the vastness of God’s love to the distance between the heavens and the earth (v. 11). Then the psalmist talked about His forgiveness in spatial terms. As far as the place where the sun rises is from the place where the sun sets, so the Lord has removed His people’s sins from them (v. 12). The psalmist wanted God’s people to know that His love and forgiveness were infinite and complete. God freed His people from the power of their transgressions by fully pardoning them.

Good news! We don’t have to wait until the New Year to experience Good Riddance Day. Through our faith in Jesus, when we confess and turn from our sins, He bids good riddance to them and casts them into the depths of the sea. Today can be a Good Riddance Day!

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