The Editing God

Recently while reading “other people’s” comments on Facebook, I read that the option to edit one’s comment on Facebook was being removed. I later learned that clearing one’s cache could address the difficulty but that editing factor remained impressed upon my heart. I love a good edit, but less if I am on the receiving end. Years ago when I was writing my dissertation and was in community with a dear sister friend who was writing hers as well, we devised a plan to lessen the blow of editing from our shared doctoral chair. We invested in a set of purple pens for her. Now, you have to know that I am dating myself. She would print our documents and edit on paper vs. the electronic document. Both myself and my friend would pour enormous amount of time and energy into our work and submit it to our chair, only to find more than what felt like 50% rejected. Our chair would take long, broad strokes across pages of work. Suddenly, even as bad as the rejection was, seeing it in the color purple vs. the color red hit differently. It was if the feedback wasn’t as bad, however the result was the same; we still had work to do.

When I considered the editing function on Facebook, I couldn’t help but consider the editing factor upon my life. God has a methodology of gingerly reminding that we still require His hand to lead, guide and direct through the messiness of what we construct. And I’m grateful for it. No matter the lowliness of our actions, inactions, unresolved anger, hurt, deliberate steps taken to tear another down, there is God with open arms to recover us from ourselves! Even on our social media, when we clean up what we’ve done, sometimes it reads that our content is “edited.” Jesus came so that our “editing” would not be visible to the human eye. When Jesus died for the atonement of our sin, His sacrifice enabled God to see us through the Blood. Similarly to my doctoral chair, the shed Blood of Jesus is like a long waterseall over our sinful life. As others, who are less than qualified to judge us or our actions, we may hold fast to the truth that God sees the finished product, even as we walk out the draft copy. Proverbs 24:16 affirms, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” Sometimes our “falls” are public and seemingly everyone around us bear witness to our mistakes; other times our “falls” are private and benefitted by the grace of God to shield our error to the world. In the eyes of our. loving, Heavenly Father, the audience is less important. The expectation is that we reflect God in all we do whether folx are privy to our actions or not; but even when we don’t, God has the ability to wipe us clean and present us faultless before Him and all who would otherwise be critical. Our assurance is found in Proverbs 24:16 where we can take refuge in failure not equating with finality. We can begin again.

Thank God for being God and for correcting our errors with love; and as He does, may we be ever so mindful and quick to extend the same to others. It’s tough walking this out in our present times. The world is quick to influence us into letting others lie in their mess, to remain on display for the dirt they’ve done. Just know, that’s not God. I was speaking with a sister in Christ the other day. She reminded me that “sin is sin.” While in graduate school, our chair critiqued our work against a criteria. We were “scored” according to how our submission aligned the stated expectations. God did not develop a scale of sin and an accompanying rubric. We are not graded a B+ for throwing up the middle finger when someone cuts us off in traffic, and a D- for sending a nasty email. In the eyes of God, neither are appropriate. Nevertheless, as a condition of the Blood (I feel a shout coming on!), both behaviors may be edited through the grace of mercy of God that enables us to go on, to stand, to carry out the purpose He intended, despite the sin, sometimes even as a result of the sin because God can and will use anyone to reflect His glory in the earth!

When I’ve made a mistake on a document or in a post and I realize it, I’m devastated. I hurriedly attempt to correct the mistake; and then there are the times that I intentionally engage in a behavior to be petty, hurtful or revengeful. Either way, God loves me enough through the Blood of Jesus. May we not be so quick to condemn. May we be reminded that if not for His covering, all our our edits would be exposed. May we take comfort in Him that even when our “purple ink” is visible to others, God has a redemption plan that is not co-dependent upon the approval and endorsement of others. May we be compelled to remember that God’s edits are perhaps challenging, but all the more bountiful in the end. He is the BEST editing God. No need to submit again.