“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:1-4
“I’m sorry God!” I exclaimed to God in my heart after His Spirit had reprimanded me for falling into the same sin over and again despite numerous convictions by His Spirit of how I had grieved Him. Then I speedily justified the wrongdoing I had done and prepared to move on with my day. Not so fast, the Spirit of God made clear. This is not repentance, He reminded me.
I was like the little kid with her hand in the cookie jar who had been caught by Mommy with yummy cookie in hand, shed a few mighty big tears along with the usual “I’m so sorry Mommy!” with big “innocent”, pleading-for-forgiveness eyes, and then prepared to trollop off with cookie in hand to fully enjoy every last crumb of it all the while secretly planning the next sneak-into-mommy’s-kitchen for the next cookie jar adventure. Not so fast. Repentance? Not in the least.
How often do we say “I’m so sorry!” to God, a few mighty big tears at the edge of our eyes for effect, preparing to trollop off with our “cookies” with crumbs decorating our lips, while planning our next sneak-into-where-we-know-God-doesn’t-want-us-to-go for our next “cookie jar adventure” into sin we know we need to repent of and leave behind? Ready to move ahead with our lives having received God’s forgiveness – and convinced His forgiveness is sufficient for us to enjoy every ounce of delectable, delicious sin as we have every intention of continuing right along in what His Spirit has convicted us we have done wrong?
Do we not know we grieve the Holy Spirit? And when we perpetually justify our sin? When we remain in it without any remorse? When we show remorse but have no intention whatsoever of leaving it behind?
How much can I get away with? we think to ourselves if we’re honest, don’t we? Surely just a little bit more. Just a little bit longer. I have the perfect excuse, don’t I? This really doesn’t bother God, does it? I know He’ll keep forgiving me, so why not just hold on a little longer? Surely He won’t mind. Will He? Do these thoughts sound familiar?
God forgives the truly repentant in heart and action – those who get their hand out of the cookie jar with true remorse with the desire to learn in His strength to leave the cookie jar behind and press on in learning to follow Him and His ways!