She was home and about to get out of the van, when the young child called out, “Mommy.” It wasn’t the usual chipper, little voice that called from the back seat. It was slower and quieter, “Mommy,” she called again.” The little girl waited to be sure her Mom was listening. When her Mom answered, the quiet voice continued, “I did something really bad.”
She had her Mom’s full attention, so the quiet voice continued, “I didn’t buckle my seat belt and I wanted to tell you what I did.”
Her mom was more than a little relieved, “Thank you for telling me. It’s very dangerous to ride without your seat belt buckled. Next time be sure to buckle it, so you are safe.”
Does it bother you when you break God’s rules?
It will if you have a heart that desires to please God. That feeling of conviction that comes when you know you’ve violated God’s rules is like the pain that comes when you run across hot pavement. It says don’t do this again. That sense of conviction is valuable, because it warns you this action or attitude is outside God’s best for you. This choice is displeasing to God.
But what do you do with conviction?
Can you, do you and should you go running to God with the same simplicity of this little child when you break His rules? And the answer is simply, yes. But do you?
Our tendency is to cover our sins, call them by a softer name like “my little problem” to minimize them, or simply ignore them. What happens when we cover our sin or try to ignore it?
1. It festers and breeds guilt. Guilt is entirely different than conviction. Guilt is never from God.
2. It is left to grow deeper, bigger and more destructive.
3. It desensitizes your ability to discern right from wrong in other areas of your life.
And what does Scripture say about hiding that sin?
Proverbs 28:13 NLT “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.”
What is your attitude toward sin?
- Do you ignore it?
- Do you think you are above sin?
- Do you think you can get by with sin?
- Do you think you are exempt from God’s laws and spiritual boundaries, that somehow they apply to everyone except you?
Maybe you are like the young pastor that was praying, “God, I hate sin. I hate it!” He felt a still small voice interrupt his prayer.
“That doesn’t impress me.” He was shocked. He stopped to listen. “I want you to hate YOUR sin.”
Do you…do you hate your sin?
Or just the sin you see in someone else. The life of a believer is a life of surrender to His will, His way and His time. Sin shouldn’t be shrugged as insignificant, but avoided like a cancer or a venomous snake.
James 1:14,15 “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death.” It is important to realize that sin has consequences.
God isn’t a heavenly kill joy! He’s not out to deliberately ruin your fun, but His laws are NOT optional. Without becoming overwhelmed with a sense of fear and dread, we can come to God, “Father, Forgive me.” Or proactively like David, “Search me, God. Is there something there that I don’t see.” And then “Cleanse me, God.”
1 John 2:1 NLT “My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous.”
I love the way that verse starts, “my dear children,” like the child in the back seat suddenly realizes her seat belt wasn’t buckled and responds to a loving parent. God wants to forgive. He wants to enable us to live sin overcoming lives, but when we do sin, we can go running to Him–tell Him what we did, ask for forgiveness and He will forgive! Thank you, Father!