“To err is human.” Sin is a great equalizer. Each and every one of us has sinned and will sin. To say otherwise is self-deception that calls God a liar! (1 John 1:8). Sin is something that we all have in common.
What makes us different is how we respond to our sin.
Last Sunday night, we talked about a few tugs-of-war that our hearts have. When we sin, we have to decide are we going to do the right thing or the wrong thing. Here’s the list again. Judas and Peter both betrayed Jesus, but their outcomes couldn’t have been more different.
Remorse versus hard-heartedness. It’s easy to say “I’m sorry.” It’s harder to soften our hearts and actually “bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). When I sin, it’s important that I investigate my heart and look for real remorse.
Confession versus cover-up. The flesh says to hide our sins. The Spirit says that nothing is hidden from God’s vision. Will we cover up our wrongs and compound our sin or will we confess. If we confess, he forgives! (1 John 1:9)
Restitution versus rationalization. Satan wants me to explain my sin by saying that I didn’t have a choice or it was an accident or it really wasn’t that bad. God wants me to take steps towards making amends to those I’ve hurt. Life doesn’t have an “undo” button, but god gives us opportunities. Zaccheus is a great example of this in Luke 19:8.
Prayer versus shame. When man sinned in the garden, shame overwhelmed him and he hid from God. Plenty of people are still in hiding. God invites the sinners and the sick to him. We’re better off not hiding!
Planning for the future versus reliving the past. We can resolve to learn from our failures rather than get stuck in a cycle of repetition forever and ever. What did this temptation teach me? What weak spot did it reveal? What lie did I believe?
When we repent, God says that “times of refreshing” come. Christianity is beautiful because of the hope that it gives us even when we really mess up!