If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. I John 1:9
If you’re a writer, you know that one of the biggest headaches is when your writing apparatus stops working, whether that’s your only pen that runs out of ink when you’re inspired and writing like mad in the waiting room, or a laptop keyboard that suddenly malfunctions when you’re at home, having set aside the afternoon to “finally get some writing done!” I’ve been through both experiences, the latter being when my “C” key seemingly went on strike. I was on a roll with a piece I was writing and really didn’t want to stop everything to pack up my laptop and take it to be repaired, where they would want to keep it for who-knows-how-long.
Resisting the urge to throw something or yell something inappropriate, I tried to work around the problem. At first I found myself playing a game of “Synonym City” (Make that “Synonym Metropolis”), where I thought up alternative words for the ones that had the letter C in them. This didn’t last long, though. Try writing about “divine perspetive” without using the words “Christ,” “Christ-like,” “Christian,” “Christmas,” “church,” “character,” … well, you get the picture.
I found that my entire laptop wasn’t in on the protest, because if I wrote “hristmas,” and hit spell check, it would give me the word “Christmas.” When I needed more unusual words and my computer couldn’t read my mind, I had to find a word having a “c” or a “C” in it that it would recognize, type that, hit spell check, copy and paste the word where I needed the c or C, and then delete the other letters, leaving me with the “c” or “C” I needed.
Does this sound like a lot of work? YES. It was. And I would be embarrassed to tell you how long I kept this up before I finally decided enough was enough and took the laptop in to be looked at. I was pleasantly surprised to have the expert take it away for a few minutes, bring it back, and tell me it was working now.
I was unpleasantly surprised when a couple of days later – just when I was getting out of the habit of doing all the fancy finger-work every time I had a C word – the keyboard said, in essence, I’m tired of this, and stopped typing the C’s again. This time I took my husband’s advice, bit the bullet, and bought a new laptop, one that wasn’t as much of a “dinosaur.” (I’m one of those low-tech people that needs to be dragged into the twenty-first century kicking and screaming.)
Once I got my new laptop, it took very little time to adjust to writing on it, and I’ve been very happy with it ever since. The only thing that disgusts me is thinking how much time I wasted working around the problems with the old one and just do what needed to be done.
It reminds me of the way some of us deal with the sin that creeps into our lives.
The moment we realize something is not right with our behavior, words, or attitude is the moment we should go running to God – the Expert who can fix the problem. The Bible gives us very clear and simple directions – “Confess sins, receive forgiveness.” It’s not complicated.
But for some reason admitting our guilt, while simple, is not easy. Something in our nature thinks I can fix this, and we go about trying to undo what’s been done, or talk ourselves out of the attitudes clouding our minds, or verbally backpedal and try to convince people that what we said wasn’t really what we said…
Lies get covered up with more lies. Frustration adds to whatever started the bad attitude to begin with, and no amount of “good behavior” or religious activity can make us feel good about what we did in the first place. Until finally the voice of reason (The Holy Spirit) says ENOUGH!
It’s not as if Jesus doesn’t know about our sins, faults, and foolishness – He died to pay the penalty for them. Instead of trying to hide, instead of running from Him, why not run to Him? Accept His invitation to exchange our sins for His righteousness, and watch how the frustration of trying to fix things on your own is replaced by the joy of a fresh start and knowing you’re not alone in the struggle.
If you’re part of a fellowship of other believers, you’ll find we all struggle. When we see the feeble attempts to undo our sin by “copying and pasting” or “close enough?” or other ways of atoning besides the biblical way, we can remind one another to just take our mess to Jesus. He will not just repair the problem, but exchange the old, messed up life for a brand new one.
You’ll find yourself, as I did, asking, Why did I wait so long?
If the idea of Jesus’ paying the price for your sins is a new concept to you, I’d love to walk you through the process of salvation and down the road to true happiness. These two past posts explain the “Be-attitudes” that will lead you to a relationship with the God who created you, a fulfilling life here on earth, and ultimately eternal life with Him!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for loving us while we were still in our sin, loving us enough to send Your only begotten Son to pay the price for our forgiveness. Thank You for not requiring us to earn our own forgiveness and salvation – You knew we never could. Forgive us for ever entertaining the notion that we can fix ourselves or undo our sins. Help us remember that repentance is as close as a prayer, and that You stand with Your arms open, ready to forgive and give us a new start, in Jesus’ name. Amen