The other day I was reflecting on life and the atonement. Life is hard sometimes. It's confusing, it's scary. Sometimes (or oftentimes) we make mistakes.
Yet, Christ atoned for us. He suffered for us, so that the bad can go away.
Then something struck me: Christ suffered for the bad. He didn't atone for the good.
Let me try to explain what I mean.
When we make mistakes, when we need to give or receive forgiveness; Christ's atonement is there to wash that all away. He makes it possible to wipe all of that clean, as if it wasn't there. A lot of people refer to this as a "clean slate". But I don't think that quite captures it's true essence. A "clean slate" makes life sound so empty. In cleaning out the bad, Christ doesn't wipe away the good too.
When a father yells at his son and shortly after feels extremely sorry for the way he treated his child, he can repent. As he repents, Christ takes away the burden of guilt and sorrow of that father's mistakes. Yet, in that process of repentance, Christ doesn't also take away the day that father went to his son's soccer games, or helped him with his homework, or read him a story, or taught him to pray. It's not an empty, clean slate. It's still full of good. Those don't get washed away.
How very merciful is our God.
Because of the atonement, we can always focus on the good and look up. We can always look back with joy and hope. He takes away the bad and leaves only the good.
When we look back at our lives through the eyes of the atonement, we won't need to remember the argument we had with our brother on the 4th of July, but we will remember the joy of being together as a family and looking up in amazement and wonder at the fireworks and the feeling we got as we watched our niece mesmerized by the magic of the night.
So, look up!Through Christ, our lives can be only good.