The Seinfeld Show left us with some classic lines. One of my favorites is “No soup for you” In this episode, everyone wants soup from the best soup maker in New York City. He is unaffectionately called “the soup Nazi.” He earns this nickname because he cancels customers. You must go through the soup line precisely the way he dictates. If you do not behave just so-so, he sends you away with the declaration “no soup for you.” Have you experienced cancelation? The reasons you might be canceled vary with cultural context. Currently “cancel culture” is running rampant. It has become extremely hard to ignore.
But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8 (CSB)
4 Therefore we were buried with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life.
Romans 6:4 (CSB)
The current state of culture results in some people being written off for a transgression in thought or speech over a single issue. Everything about that person is then declared null and void. As I was contemplating this, God showed me a little of myself. You see, I have been canceling myself for decades. I am haunted by some past mistakes. Some of these mistakes are significant, but some are very insignificant. I feel I am a failure for not accomplishing some things I intended. Since I have already failed, why try now? What is curious is that I can’t let them go. I run them over and over in my mind and chastise myself. Mind you, these are insignificant errors from decades ago. God showed me that this is wrong thinking. These errors do not invalidate me. I have made mistakes, I have sinned, but I have also accomplished a variety of undertakings. The things I have done wrong are not the only defining factors in my life.
Now, I should know better. After all, I have taught more than a few Bible studies. I feel that I understand Christian theology fairly well. The Bible tells us that we, while created in God’s image, are far less than perfect. We are fallen beings in a fallen world. We are all sinners…..I am a sinner. The good news? Christ reached out to us while we were still sinners and died for our sins. The result? We are forgiven, at peace with God, and raised to walk in newness of life. This is the truth that should be running over and over in my mind. Instead of “CANCELED” stamped on the story of my life there is “PAID IN FULL” stamped instead. The challenge for me is to walk in this truth rather than wallow in self-condemnation.
What about you? What failure from your past overwhelms the value of all other things in your life? Over what are you canceling yourself? Today is a good day to confess your sins, ask God for forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice, give control of your life to Him, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and walk in new life.