As Christians, we all hopefully agree sin is something we should strive to avoid daily. It’s certainly a full-time job for us, in addition to all of our other duties. Unfortunately, for many of us, sin becomes almost like a daily duty. We know the difference between right and wrong, but find a way to justify wrong. We know what God would want us to do in most situations, but we somehow make a good excuse for doing the opposite or more commonly do “a little good” and “a little wrong.” Sinning Christians can be creative. We are constantly finding new ways to either sin or to justify sin.
For the purposes of this brief discussion let’s assume we’ve made the wrong decision, taken the wrong path, aligned with the wrong group, or whatever other line can accurately describe our sin. So what now? Satan wins, right? Yes, to the extent that we had a choice and we chose the sinful option, Satan won that battle. No sugar-coating justification can change that. We can’t talk our way out of the sin we committed. We knew the difference between right and wrong and in the face of God and every one of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we chose to do what Satan would want us to do. That’s deep and can be overwhelming to many. In fact, Satan is counting on the magnitude of our sin to hold us captive of that sin. That’s the power of sin. It can end lives, literally and figuratively. Some people live the rest of their earthly lives under the weight of a single sin.
It doesn’t seem right that Satan is the one pushing the guilt cart when it comes to our sin, but he is. Satan wants us to not only feel guilty and ashamed but he wants us to allow those feelings of shame and inadequacy to weigh us down to the point that we are paralyzed and ineffective Christians. If we are ashamed and assume God is also ashamed of us, we are likely to be less active in spreading our testimony to others and more likely to take a less aggressive role in being that “candle to the world” God wants us to be.
God made me and He made you. He knows everything about us. Our every weakness and tendency. He knows our sinful thought and deed before we think or do them. He isn’t ashamed of us. Disappointed and hurt? Yes. But not ashamed. God hates sin, not sinners…Thank God! He doesn’t want us to lay in shame. He definitely doesn’t want His children to hide their light because we feel that we aren’t worthy to let it shine due to a sinful act we’ve committed. Forgiveness should never be viewed as an easy way out. Jesus died for that. It wasn’t easy. However, because of that sacrifice, it is easy to gain forgiveness, and to allow sin to beat us up and take us out of the game is simply allowing Satan to win again. As believers, we know how the story ends. God wins. Let Him win!!
To be clear, we can’t repeat the same sins over and over and simply ask forgiveness knowing we are going to be doing the same thing again in the near future. With true forgiveness must come true repentance, and we can’t be truly repentant if we continue living in the same sin, but neither can we afford to take ourselves out of the game, so to speak, effectively making us useless Christians until we repent. Ask for forgiveness, learn from it and move on. Remove our shame and selfishness from the equation after we sin. Let God fulfil the purpose for which He sent His Son to die. Don’t allow Satan to minimize the power of that amazing sacrifice.
“Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”
God loves you. He knows everything about you…more than even you know about yourself. If you’re a Christian, He doesn’t want you to sin, but He is never surprised when we do. When we do, He wants to forgive us. He is waiting, patiently waiting for us to confess, repent and ask for that forgiveness. Avoid sin, but when we do it, and we will, avoid allowing Satan to steal or even delay the power of the Cross. The power of the Cross will get us back in the game with no shame, only grace. And it’s that grace that makes our light shine especially bright for others to see.