~~I did something bad. I took advantage of someone who extended kindness and trust to me. I did it knowing that if she ever found out, she would forgive me. I weighed and measured other ways to get what I wanted in the situation and found this to be the option with the least painful outcome even if I got busted (HA! Little did I know.)
Are you measuring the depths of that sin? There is no way to quantify the depravity, let me assure you. Having peered into the blackness of that crevasse, I can tell you that only the Lord can fathom it.
In God’s way, He would not allow me to have a minute’s peace with my sin. Like a thorn in my flesh, it festered and boiled and made me sick. I confessed to Him and promised repentance, and finding His forgiveness was easy. Finding hers would be something altogether different - not because she would be loathe to give it, but because I would have to face her and hold out that ugliness for her to see. When I knew what I had to do, thanks to Matthew 7 and Leviticus 6, (Who goes to Leviticus 6, I ask you? Only the Lord knows what’s in Leviticus 6 and He’s not afraid to use it!) I made an appointment to see her privately and on trembling knees, with the dread of humiliation in my stomach, I stood before her and confessed.
“Ppppffffttt!!!” She said, and flapped her hand dismissively. “That happens all the time, and besides, it was my fault.” (No. It most assuredly was not her fault!)
Have you ever been forgiven? Like, you absolutely knew that you were gum on the bottom of God’s shoe and someone dismissed your offense with a wave of their hand? There are no words to describe that. The sudden lightness. The healing. The restoration. The humility.
Yes, humility. The kind of humility that would level us but for grace and the inability to truly understand how disgusting we are. Sorry. We are. We all are. You may not have abused a friend and betrayed her trust, but Christ died because we overeat at the buffet too. He died because we indulge in the fantasy of “Desperate Housewives”. He died because we buy more shoes at the Goodwill than we can wear in a year. Wait. Is that just me?
You recognize these things as sins, right? See, that was my problem. I excused what I was doing, measured it against a worldly standard, and felt completely justified. “It’s not so bad”, I told myself. No. What I actually did was not so bad, but the motive, the scheming, the deception, the carelessness, the faithlessness, the betrayal, the total depravity of my soul…that was bad. Really bad. Like gum on the bottom of God’s shoe bad. The thing is, we don’t usually scratch beneath the surface to look that closely. We tend to flap our own hand and say, “Pppppffffttt!” to our behavior and forget that someone died so that we could be forgiven for that very thing and not have to face the penalty required for that offense and for the corruption of our soul. Our sin, no matter how small, is first and foremost against God, and yet, thanks to Jesus, we can come boldly to the throne and find forgiveness and mercy. We don’t have to tip-toe in on trembling knees, ready to toss our cookies with fearful dread. Maybe we should. Maybe then we’d be disinclined to flap our hands at our own sin. Maybe it would cost us enough to want to avoid that pain. And maybe in the face of His forgiveness we would leave there relieved, but with the real understanding that we are like gum on the bottom of His shoe. In humility.
Humility is a good and wonderful thing, and so is forgiveness. If you have not experienced either, it may be time to start scratching the surface a bit. Seeing things on a deeper level, on God’s level, will cut through your delusion like the proverbial knife through hot butter. You really aren’t “all that”…and you’ve been forgiven for thinking that you are. There is no motivation toward right living like having to stand before your accuser and agree with them. There is no joy like fully understanding who you are and what has been done for you. There is no worship like that which springs from this understanding. Look deeper. Ask the Lord to lift up his foot and show you what’s stuck there. It will be painful, but you will rejoice.