My mama has alwayssss taught us that there are not varying degrees of sin, that sin is sin is sin. A week ago she came home from church and said maybe she taught us wrong. Someone brought up that very discussion at her church and said that they didn’t think that You saw all sin the same. It made the whole family start thinking. I woke up this morning scrolling through Facebook and read an article that had been posted several times on my newsfeed. In the article, she said: “Sin is sin is sin. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong. Consequences are a different ballgame. For example, the consequences for lying are quite different than those for murder.” I couldn’t agree more! I still think my mama was right, but I also think the other person was right. I think You show us consequences and mercy and grace is so many different forms and ways. I don’t think You work in someone the same as someone else. No two stories are the same.
Forgiveness is a heavy word, but You gave it to me. To be honest, I’ve had a really hard time forgiving people practically my whole life. Partly because when people throw around the word forgiveness they still throw the mistake back at the person and hold it over their head for like ever. That is not forgiveness. Forgiveness is letting go. It’s healing. It’s not easy and sometimes it takes time to heal. I just want to thank You that it’s not that way with You. You forgive us the moment we ask for it. I’ve done a lot of forgiving in the past year or so. Not just of other people, but myself too. Sometimes I think forgiving myself is even harder than forgiving others. I have a tendency to dwell on every single little thing I do. From the stupid comment I made without thinking all the way to the big stuff. I keep a running record in my head of every single thing I’ve ever done. I let it consume me when I should be consumed by You.
When I was a kid, forgiveness was explained to me like: If everyone lines up on this line and the more they sin the further from You they get, the more they go in the darkness, and the more they chase You and ask for forgiveness the closer to You and the light they get. As Christians, we don’t fully get to the light until Heaven. Just because we are forgiven doesn’t mean we are perfect. It just means we chose to live chasing the light rather than the dark. I don’t think that all non-believers are bad people chasing the dark either. I think there are some people out there fighting that darkness just as much as any Christian, but I don’t think they can cross that line to fully see the beauty in the light until they believe in You. I think it’s much harder for them because they don’t see the reason for the light at the end. I saw the 12:01am premiere of Tomorrowland on the Disney Dream cruise Thursday night. The big takeaway lesson throughout the movie was: “You have two wolves, one representing darkness and despair, the other light and hope. Which one lives? The one you feed.” I think every single one of us is battling something and sometimes we lose that battle and sometimes with You we’re strong enough to fight.
The darkness is pretty tempting and I’ve lost the battle a few times, but I am so glad that You are gonna win the war.
Psalm 91:4 says: He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
So, here is my prayer today. Thank you for forgiveness. Thank you for your grace. Thank you for your mercy. Thank you for consequences and lessons that teach me. Thank you for holding my tomorrow. I pray that I keep fighting the dark. I pray that I run as fast as I can to the light. I pray that I fight as hard as I can for you. Thank you for covering me. Thank you for giving me refuge. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your unconditional, unyielding love. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.