Monday, December 31, 2012

I Can’t Believe I…by Martin Wiles

“I can’t believe I said that!” An unkind word. A boisterous boast. In a moment of anger, a curse word. A tidbit of gossip. A flirtatious quip.

“I can’t believe I actually did that.” Went to a bar. Got drunk. Used drugs. Was unfaithful to my spouse. Ratted out a friend. Took the promotion a fellow worker deserved. Called in sick when I wasn’t. Told a lie.

“I can’t believe I thought that.” So filled with anger I wished him dead. So filled with unforgiveness, I wished her harm. So filled with lust, I wanted someone who belonged to another. So consumed with selfishness….

As I look back on my “sin list” since becoming a Christian, I sometimes shout the above statements. But I’m in good company… One of the greatest believers to ever live did too. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate (Romans 7:15 NLT).

Peter probably screamed one of them as well after denying three times he knew Jesus. Jesus told him he would; he denied the possibility but then did the very thing he thought he was robust enough to resist (Mark 14:66-72).

God sooths my disappointment over failures by reminding me that being his child doesn’t stamp out all temptation and sin from my life. Receiving his forgiveness only takes a moment, but learning to think, speak and act Christ-like takes a lifetime. It’s comforting to know God always accepts my confession of failure and to know that in Christ all my sins are forgiven-even the ones I haven’t spoken, thought or acted. When you behave in ways that don’t reflect your position in Christ, take comfort in his perpetual forgiveness.

Prayer: Merciful Father, we acknowledge our frequent failure to conduct ourselves as we should, but we thank You for continuous forgiveness and for the repeated second chances You provide when we fail.