It’s a quarter after three in the morning.
I can’t sleep. I was just laying (lying…I’ll never get that right) in bed and reflecting on my life and how much damage I’ve done to myself and others in my life.
I was a pretty good guy, outwardly anyway. A nice guy. Friendly. Good attitude. Hardworking. Caring. Generous. But I liked to chase skirts… and I did a lot of damage. I used people. I hurt people. I really didn’t notice it much back then, but I sure notice it now.
Looking back , I can see (and not all of it, I’m sure) the damage that I caused. I have helped to mess up a lot of people’s lives, some of whom are still close to me. Many are barely a memory. But the wreckage is real, and I did it.
I know that I’m forgiven for it all, but it still hurts and it’s still hurting others. It’s “the gift that just keeps giving” (sin is), so says my pastor.
So my advice to those of you out there who are engaged in things that are contrary to the will of God, is this; knock it off!. You may not be able to undo the damage you’ve already done, but you can surely help to keep yourself and others from more of the pain and suffering that is the hallmark of our selfishness.
And when you just can’t keep your nose out of it, know that you are just the type of person that Christ Jesus came for. You are a real sinner who’s never going to be able to fully keep his/her nose out of where it doesn’t belong. But by God’s grace, repent and believe yet once again. Believe that He really does love you and He really wants the best for you. He really does forgive you.
And if you just can’t seem to believe that fact 100% of the time, then return to your baptism each day and trust that what God has done there, is still doing there, is for you. Taste the bread and wine and know that He is with you, in you, working on you, continuing to forgive you. Continuing to keep you in His faith. Continuing to love real sinners. The kind that I was. The kind that I am. The kind that you are.
If you think you can lick this problem on your own, you are delusional. It ain’t gonna happen. If you think that you can gradually move towards sinlessness on some progressing sliding scale, you are delusional. That’s not going to happen, and it may make things a lot worse. (that exercise might turn you into a modern day Pharisee)
Sin is a part of you, and it will always be a part of you, even though by God’s grace, and or your hard work, you conquer some of it. Thanks be to God when you do!
But in Him you are spotless. In your baptism, “you have put on Christ”. Is that not good enough for you? It should be. Take comfort in Him. Take comfort in our Savior who died for us “while we were yet sinners”.
Get off the God project! As my pastor says, it’s no fun anyway.
Live in Him. Repent and believe. Do the best that you can and try to do no harm. When you fail, ask forgiveness and trust that He will make you new, yet once again.
Ok… back to bed.
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