“I figured I’d leave and not come back until I could make you proud of me again.”
Opie Taylor was an average student who studied hard but not as diligently as he could. But he wasn’t too worried this particular year; his teacher liked him. Even though Andy tried to explain that liking him had nothing to do with his grades, Opie wasn’t convinced. And getting all A’s on his report card didn’t help. Sadly, they weren’t from his studies or because the teacher liked him. She had made a mistake when transcribing his grades. Andy was so proud of Opie’s report card that Opie couldn’t bear to tell his father about the blunder. He felt guilt…that he couldn’t live up to his father’s expectations. His childhood solution was to run away and not come back until he could do something that would make his father proud of him. (“Opie’s Ill-Gotten Gain,” November 18, 1963)
It may appear James is producing a similar picture of our relationship with God when he says, For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. (James 2:10 NLT) If I can’t keep all of God’s laws, why attempt to keep any?
The key isn’t in my efforts but in God’s solution. I may not be a murderer, but telling one “white lie” makes me just as guilty before God as if I was. Only one sin in my entire lifetime would still make me guilty. I can’t keep all of God’s commands consistently. Nor can anyone else. But I can connect with the One who did and have his righteousness credited to my account. In fact, this is the only way to make myself acceptable to God.
One sin makes me guilty; one prayer makes me righteous…declared as such by God himself. Have you accepted God’s solution for your sin?
Prayer: Father, today we acknowledge our sin and accept the solution You have provided—Jesus Christ.
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