I was revisited by one of my sins this morning.
When I was about ten, I found my older sister’s diary, tore page after page out of it on which she talked about her boyfriend and wondered about their future. I then proceeded to use the diary to write my own science fiction stories. I never shared the stories with anyone, and never told her what happened to her diary.
I hadn’t thought much about the theft until now, fifty years later. I have no doubt that she’s not worried what happened to her diary, and if I were to tell her today, she would readily forgive me for my transgressions so many years ago. I was ten. What I read didn’t seem important to me at the time, even though I am sure it meant the world to her. But the fact that the act came back to haunt me all these years later is the point.
Satan loves to pester me with such things. He reminds me of mistakes that I made in my past: people I treated poorly, people I cheated, people I lied to. He reminds me of poor decisions, foolish choices, bad paths I took. I know it’s not God that brings them to my mind. There’s no upside to these thoughts. They’re in the distant past and there’s nothing I can do to improve on the situation.
But Satan sees these memories as an opportunity to make me believe that I am far too messed up for redemption. I’ve made too many mistakes, abused too many relationships, hurt too many people, for God to ever want to save me. Further, how can I ever consider speaking in the name of God when I have done these horrible things? How can I consider myself a representative of God when I have misrepresented him so often?
That’s when we need to remember Romans 3:23: “For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God….” Not just me. Not just you. Everybody. That should stop us the next time we are eager to point fingers and feel righteous, right? We’re all messed up. It’s only because God forgives all these little mess ups that we can keep going.
Satan loves to bring up all these little mistakes. God loves to forgives them. Question is, will we linger in Satan’s camp, and think about how messed up we are, or jump over to God’s, and be grateful that He’s willing to wipe them away and let us start over? Again. And again. And if need be, again.
Yes, our sins will find us out. But God will take care of those sins.