The Paper Shredder Versus the Filing Cabinet

As I mentioned yesterday, at youth group on Wednesday night I taught the teens about prayer using the PRAY format. Then we had the teens break into groups and go pray at four separate stations. At the area for repentance, the teens were given 3×5 cards on which they could write a sin. They were confessing something they were struggling with and then were to talk to God about it.

When the time was finished the teens asked what they were to do with their cards. Apparently one suggested they just tear them up and the youth leader said, “We do have a paper shredder.” The group thought it was a great idea. They took their failure and shredded them into tiny little bits of paper that can never be put back together.

After listening to this story I had the immediate opposite thought; “Most people I know keep their cards in a filing cabinet instead of using the shredder.” We like to take those old sins, failures, and mistakes and hold onto them. Then when we are feeling sad we can go back to the file and remind ourselves of all of our shortcomings. Possibly we are feeling happy and one look in the cabinet can bring us back down again. Many people hang onto the past and file it away nicely and then one day they can recall every detail of their sins.

Honestly, I have never found that holding onto past failures was helpful for today. So the next time you confess your sins to God, take that experience over to the paper shredder and not the filing cabinet.

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