DayBreaks for 7/12/16 – Why I Am Thankful for My Sin
Though it is a rapidly fading memory, I can recall how I thought about myself when I was young. Boy, was I stupid! I was so full of myself and proud that it makes me sick to my stomach now to even think about it.
You see, I thought God was getting a pretty good deal with me. I was very straight laced and I imagined that I had a level of self-control that bordered on the perfect. I thought I could will myself out of any temptation, will myself into near perfect obedience. I was much like the Pharisees of Scripture.
What was the result? I suppose it was that I didn’t feel all that much need of either Jesus or forgiveness – let alone grace and mercy. After all, I was so much better than everyone else – or so I thought. After all, I was the one who knew all the answers in Sunday school class. I was the one who always won the Bible memory contests. I didn’t drink, dance, play cards, do drugs or smoke. I was as straight laced as one could be and I was sure that God was very, very happy with me.
It was only later on in life that I learned that I didn’t have such strong will power after all. I found myself falling into sin that I couldn’t have anticipated and to which I would have said “Never, Lord!” in my earlier years. But those “never’s” have a way of coming back to haunt us, don’t they? (Yep, I’ve learned to never say never!)
At first, this growing awareness of my sin brought me great shame and despair. I began to believe that not only had God not got such a great deal with me being a follower, but that He was extremely angry with me, that when He looked down from on high He must be disgusted and totally ready to just dump me on the brimstone piles in hell.
But then, by the grace of some teaching and some “mentors” that I read (Philip Yancey, Brennan Manning, the book of Romans, John Ortberg, Mark Buchanan and others) I found the lifeline that I desperately needed – the grace of God. I grew to realize that I wasn’t nearly as “hot” as I thought I was – in fact, I was horribly flawed – but God didn’t hate me for it or reject me. He opened my eyes to grace and to my absolute need for grace – not perfect obedience – through my sin.
If it hadn’t been for the magnitude of my sin, I would have never really come to understand what grace was, the depth of God’s love, and how badly I needed Jesus. I would have just kept thinking I was good enough (maybe) and didn’t have need for much forgiveness. What a fool I would have been to think such a thing about myself as I believed when I was young!
And that is precisely why I am thankful for my sin!
PRAYER: God, thank you for being so long-suffering with me in my pride and foolishness and for opening my eyes to my need for Jesus and grace through my sin! Thank you that you are powerful enough to even use sin to lead us to salvation! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2016, Galen C. Dalrymple. All rights reserved.