God will reveal to you some things about yourself that will make you despair at your ability to get down and dirty with sin. He is not team #letshidethismess, He is team #letscleanthisup.
Though we are told not to judge, I involuntarily looked down on people for a full 5 seconds before the reality that if I were in their shoes I’d probably have done/been the same hits me. There are many examples but I will use the most common- hating on other females. There are women we look at and with or without evidence we assume they are loose.
See, I wake up in the morning and do my devotions (I have the ‘I am too tired for this’ days but that’s okay, I think we all have those), I pray, I can speak in tongues and I sing praise songs inspired by the Spirit flow from me, especially when I am under an umbrella on a rainy day or in the shower- there has to be a relation. (Note the excessive use of ‘I’s in that last paragraph.)
But what I have managed to keep hidden, even to myself, is my sin and my past. I am not team #yourpastisstinkysohateyourself. I believe that He who the Son has set free is free indeed. This is nice, but very wrong when we refuse or simply do not see what it means to be forgiven for your vast transgressions against The Creator because of selfishness and entitlement. We often brush off God with prayers of forgiveness that end with an ‘I will never do it again!’ accompanied by near or actual water works but leave it at that once your hysteria has subsided.
Fine you might not end up doing it again but if you don’t understand like David did what sin does to your relationship with God, though you are forgiven, you will never really work to repair the relationship that was broken by that sin.
Let me see if I can drive this home…
Your friend wrongs you. You are hurt. They eventually see that they were wrong and they ask for forgiveness and they say they will never do it again. You forgive them but you can’t believe them. Why? They are still doing the same thing and acting the same way they were when they got to the point they hurt you in the first place. Like a pregnant mother whose husband smokes in their marital home. He says he will stop smoking for the sake of the child and for a while he doesn’t smoke around you but you still find cigarette butts in the bin and on the lawn. It’s like saying you won’t watch porn but your mind is running a movie fueled by your imagination.
Part of repentance is changing your attitude and mindset from what made you sin in the first place. You pick up a new attitude dedicated to pleasing God and taking Him at His word when He says He’ll never allow temptation to that you can’t handle to come your way.
I didn’t know my relationship with God was broken until I realized I am no different from this sinful woman.
Luke 7: 36-50
36 One of the Pharisees asked him to eat with him, and he went into the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, 38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would have known who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him, for she is a sinner.”
Then Christ asks to talk to the Pharisee and he asked him who’ll be happier, the man who is forgiven a big debt or the one forgiven a smaller debt? The Pharisee rightfully agrees that it’s the one forgiven the bigger debt that will be happier.
47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48 And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 Then those who were at table with him began to say among[a] themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
She was broken. She poured out. Her life because a remembrance of what God has done for her.
God didn’t reveal this to me in order to condemn or shame me, but simply, back to the friend analogy, to allow me to 1) understand what it means to be forgiven because 2) He has forgiven me much, 3) He loves me and 4) we are to live our lives broken and poured out.
For me it means changing my language to, ‘Yo… you want to use this broken chick for your ministry??! I mean… go ahead… I won’t refuse the upgrade…’ from ‘God why can’t I see a breakthrough in the ministry you said I would have?’ Humbling me is what He did, enough for me to want to have a relationship with Him that is based on Him and not me.
Over to you: who are you in the passage- the Pharisee or the woman?
PS: I am sure just because the woman was forgiven her life didn’t *snap* change. They looked down on her still; the difference was that now the only man in her life was Christ. In essence, you won’t always escape the consequences of your sin. So don’t sin. Makes life easier.