If You’re Looking for a Place to Set Down Your Sin
What I needed all along was a place where I could bring my sin, but no one pointed the way (or more likely they did but I never saw it.) Most wanted me to feel better about myself. God loves you, they said.
Well, yes, but what about all this YUCK inside me?
What about the ill-spoken words to a friend?
What about how I selfishly wanted to yell at my family, “Make your own lunches!”
What about how yesterday I told God, “I know what you want me to do, and I don’t want to do it.” Pushing back against Him.
It’s like carrying two heaping-full paper bags of groceries that I can’t even see over, and would someone please tell me where I should set them down? And everyone says, Bags? What bags? Why do you feel so yucky? God loves you.
Well, yes, but there’s still this sin.
What do I DO with it, please?
Recently God showed me where to set down my sin, and it is perfection. It is an epiphany. I feel like I’m the first one EVER to discover this special place, and I am announcing it to the world. Here it is:
The cross of Christ.
This realization seems ridiculous, because I have been following Christ for 37 years, but I never knew the cross was for every day. For everyday sin. I thought it was just this come-get-saved place.
Why didn’t anyone ever tell me I would need the cross on MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday?
When I come to the cross I say, I am wretched! and no one argues with me. No one pats me on the head and says, Oh honey, you’re not that bad. You’re one of the nicest people I know. When I come to the cross and cry out this day’s sin, Jesus says, Yes. You are sinful.
Thank you. Finally someone agrees with me.
Jesus says, I see those bags you carry. Put them here. Empty them, one at a time, and let’s see what you’ve got.
Out of the bags come selfishness, greed, slander, slothfulness, envy… One at a time I pull out my transgressions, and Jesus says, Yes, I see it.
Confession: A formal agreement with God that I have gone my own way instead of His.
And it feels so good. It is glorious to have a place to bring my sin and pull it out and talk about it and SEE it and set it down. A place where no one is trying to boost my self-esteem and make me feel good about myself. In this place there is grace, forgiveness, and hope, and it is safe to talk about the failures.
Paul says, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God –through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25)
Do you hear it?
In the same breath –I am wretched and Jesus is the Christ!
It’s okay for me to say I am wretched. It. Is. Okay.
Blessed are those who mourn. (Matthew 5:4 NIV)
Blessed are the poor in spirit. (Matthew 5:3 NIV)
Change your laughter to mourning
and your joy to gloom.
Humble yourselves before the Lord,
and he will lift you up.
(James 4:9-10 NIV)
It is not until I know I have the stain that I can appreciate the one who cleanses. I must look and know my sin. Let me grieve. Don’t rush me through the grief.
“At the cross may I contemplate the evil of sin,
and abhor it,
look on him whom I perceived,
as one slain for me, and by me.”
The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions
Only then can I rejoice with Paul, Thanks be to God for the rescue!
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
And I find that the more sorrowful I am over sin, the more extraordinary is the soft touch of grace and the power of the resurrection restoring my life.
Christ offers something more deeply satisfying than a warm-fuzzy self-esteem.
Finally, someone to give verbage to my internal-eternal emotions. When I speak to friends about this, I get the “you are so wonderful, etc”. But, I know I am a fraud. I know what I truly am. This is not a low self-esteem issue, this is an every day failure to follow Christ issue. Just as you said. “No G. I don’t want to obey you in this issue.” I feel the spirit’s nudge or hear the still small voice and conveniently ignore it (Him). So, what do you do with those emotions? Where do you bring them? You so beautifully bring them to the cross! Not just for salvation but for forgiveness EVERYDAY!
Thank you Christy, I have printed this message out and plan to keep it close.
I highly recommend you buy the Puritan prayer book called “Valley of Vision”. The prayers are so wonderfully confessional and raw about our sinful condition but infused, at the same time, with grace and always Christ-focused dealing with sin. It would be refreshing to you!
Amen! Thank you – I feel worse and better all at the same time. Now I’m gonna go set my heavy bags of groceries down where they belong. At the cross.
Comments are closed.