Musings #4

When we look at a sinful world…the lying, injustice, greed, murder…do we feel more anger and outrage toward the perpetrators than sympathy and compassion for the victims? Do we want to punish more than help? Do we want to accuse, blame and hate more than we want to empathize, assist and love?

In Matthew 16:22 Peter contradicted Jesus because what Jesus was saying differed from what he had been taught as a child, what he had believed all his life. Do we sometimes let what we have been taught in the past interfere with what God wants to teach us now? Do we let old attitudes and opinions keep us from accepting new revelations?

It seems we Christians are more willing to hate the things God hates – sinful behavior-than we are to love the things God loves – sinful people. Why? Could it be that loving costs more money, time, energy and commitment than hating does, and we are unwilling to pay the extra price?

When I sin, I want to find excuses for my behavior and put the blame on outside explanations and circumstances. In sports jargon this takes the form of “It took a bad bounce” or “The sun was in my eyes” or “The referee made a bad call.” But when I do good, I want to take all the credit and pat myself on the back because I am such a “GOOD” person. God hates this attitude.

Is the term “proud servant” an oxymoron? Not for the Christian! I am a servant, but I am proud of the one I serve. I am a servant, but I am proud to bear my Master’s name. Being a servant is not a bad thing because I have the perfect boss.

I Sinned

I sinned…again. I know it. My family knows it. My friends know it. My church knows it. God knows it. I know that God knows it.

It was a huge, ugly, stupid, selfish, no-excuse-for-it, hurtful, Satan-directed sin.

I went to God in my prayer closet and the sin was so large and fresh that it dwarfed all else in our relationship. It was just God and me and my sin.

I tried to pray, but all I could say was “I’m sorry.” After the first time it just rolled off my tongue in a continuous cry “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”

I was almost ashamed to stay in His presence. I was too repentant to say anything else, but I was too hopeful and desperate to leave.

I started to say “I didn’t mean to do it,” but realized it would be a lie. I did mean to do it, but I went ahead anyway. I knew it was a sin and I knew what I was doing.

I added “Please forgive me.” Part of my mind understood that He had already done that, but part of me needed to ask again and again. (Is it a waste of time to ask for something you have already been given?)

I wasn’t sure there was any grace still available for me. Had He already dismissed me as a hopeless case? I tried to let myself believe He might someday want to commune with me like we did before the sin.

Finally, I slowly began to realize that God never gives up on me. The Holy Spirit made me aware that God had forgiven me and he would teach me to forgive myself. Only then could I leave my closet and take my place in His kingdom as a beloved child of the King.