I went to a high school that gave out demerits. If you got a certain amount, you went to the office. The next level was that your parents would be brought in. Finally, if you got a certain level, you would be expelled from school. I had one teacher that loved giving out demerits. In fact, when I would walk into class, he would hand me a blank one and say, “Go ahead and fill out the top. We can keep a running total throughout class and you can write down the final number at the bell.”
It always felt like a threat, but more than that, I couldn’t concentrate on what I was supposed to be doing. In my head, I was just thinking about how not to get a demerit. I would tell myself not to talk to anyone so I wouldn’t get one. But then again, he was demerit happy. I could just have the wrong look on my face and get one. It was the same every day in his class. While I can remember the teacher and location of the room, I have no idea what class it was.
Sometimes it’s easy to think that God is like that teacher. We think He’s up there waiting for us to mess up so He can punish us. It can cause you to live in constant fear of God, and to worry that you’re going to mess up and ruin everything. It can even distract you from fulfilling your calling and cause you to be a fruitless Christian. In the words of a friend of mine, “Relax! God’s in a good mood.” He’s not angry all the time looking to smack you for doing wrong.
Psalm 130:3-4 says, “If you, GOD, kept records on wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshiped” (MSG). Don’t fall for the lies of the enemy that God has handed you a demerit and is waiting for you to fail. God wants nothing more for you than for you to succeed and to fulfill your purpose. Forgiveness is His habit, not punishment. Put down the demerit you’re holding on to. Walk in the forgiveness that has been bought for you by a His son.