We need to talk about a difficult topic and I need to start with a confession. No, I have not done any huge sins, at least that I know of, but I do sin. What does that mean? It literally means I “miss the mark”, like basketball, shotput, or other sports. I don’t reach the goal. I mess up. To be human is to fully capable of missing the mark – a lot of marks. The fact is, everyone has done that, but why do you and I do that?
For myself, I would like to say I mess up because of my upbringing. I was raised in a home where my parents didn’t know how to get along and fought all the time. I was 17 when they divorced. I went through experiences that were traumatic in body, mind, and soul. Yes, that shaped me, but I still have a choice about how to respond to that. Do I need to get the pain out of my heart and soul? Yes. Do I need to deal with it and call it what it is? Absolutely. But even if all that could be worked out and resolved, there is still something in me that pulls me in the wrong direction in attitude, actions, or words.
Okay, well maybe genetics make us do bad things, think bad thoughts, have bad attitudes? Nope. I’m afraid not. True, there are personality types and there are strong tempraments. These things may make it very tough for us to behave, but we can still make right – or wrong – choices. “God just made me mean” is not going to cut it when we stand before God and give an account for our lives.
But there is hope, not that we will be perfect in this life (we all have a fallen nature), but because we can be forgiven. Our God, our Father, longs to forgive us. He is just waiting for us to ask. His love and forgiveness are unconditional.
Like you, I struggle with past hurts, hang ups, and habits. I wrestle with them all the time. Like you, I don’t always deal well with these messes of the soul. I struggle with self-condemnation, doubt, and false guilt, and sometimes lashing out. And like you, I am a sinner and need God’s help to rise above the sin, be forgiven, and move on in victory and peace. Jesus makes this possible. When I mess up I can come to Him and receive forgiveness, and so can you. God gives us the grace to make the next move. What will we do with that opportunity?