“For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.” (2 Corinthians 7:11 NKJV)
My wife’s late great uncle, Woodrow James often shared wisdom from his life with me. One thing he told me several times went something like this:
“When you were born into this world you were only given one thing. The doctors looked at your folks and asked ‘what shall we call him’ and they gave you a name. There is nothing more important than having a good name. Never let it get so high that you can’t reach it. Never let it get so low that you can’t pick it up and people walk on it.”
Woodrow was instructing me to keep my name clear. And, if my name was ever brought low I needed to do all I could to clear my name and bring it back up to standard. When we violate God’s word (sin) a good motivator for changing our ways (repentance) is to work diligently to clear ourselves with God.
We shouldn’t be so highly lifted up with an attitude of self righteousness or so low in despair weighed down under the burden of sin. Instead we should strive to clear ourselves and be restored to right standing with God.