It’s really hard to forgive. This seems a little strange, since our own sin gives us no right or reason to withhold it from others. I think the problem is that we don’t see our sin, at least we don’t see our sin as being as bad as someone else’s sin. I’m discovering this truth more and more as I continue to look more seriously at my own sin–part of a special focus I’ve been taking in my life lately.
Recently, as I’ve examined the offenses certain persons have committed against me–or at least what I believe they have committed against me–I’ve discovered that I’ve almost always done the same sins back in response. Let me repeat that, I’ve done the same exact sins to the persons I’m angry with for having committed those same sins against me! So not only am I guilty of being a hypocrite, but also of missing a few screws!
No one avoids the slippery slope of sin. It’s very much like standing on a mammoth metal slide that someone has doused with baby oil. Sure, you might be able to stabilize if you are fully trusting God. But as soon as someone else joins you on the mega sin slide, and someone always does, it’s just a matter of time before an unhappy collision occurs.
I know all about this because I’ve watched it happen time and again in my life. Allow me to illustrate how I’ve envisioned myself on this merciless slide. Sometimes I’m the one trusting God to help me stabilize even if it is only for a second or two. (Of course, I realize that sometimes I am the one slipping and sliding. Ironically, though, I’m not quite as aware of the slick slide beneath me when I’m the one slipping! No wonder I fall on my fanny!) However, when someone else gets up on that same greasy slide with me and starts to “wobble” or sin, I invariably lose my focus on God and therefore lose my balance. Then it’s just a matter of time before my fellow wobbler nudges me or I nudge him and we’re both toppling down sin’s hill very much like “Jack and Jill.”
In that moment of hurling headlong, I’m hearing the words of the Apostle Paul ringing in my ears, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15 (NIV). (You might want to read the entire passage to get the complete picture). Yeah, that’s right–I hate to sin. But in some deep recess of my heart, I think I love it too or I wouldn’t give in to it time and time again.
That’s the bottom line for me. I want to understand and always remember that I am as big a sinner as everyone else who crosses my path or who simply crosses me. But the good news is that God is in the business of repairing and healing me and you too. And I believe that the sooner we admit it to God and others, the sooner God can help us. So here goes; “Hi, I’m Beth, and I’m a Christ-follower with an addiction to sin.”