We’ve heard the stories over and over. Over-confident Peter denied Christ three times. Judas betrayed our Lord for money. Yet Peter went on to serve God with his life and death. Judas never found repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. What was the difference between these two men? Was it the details of their sin? Betrayal is worse than denial maybe?
Sin is sin. We cannot know which sin is worse until we know how our sins are going to affect the future. How can we know the exact consequences of our individual sins? Only God knows that, and He commands us not to sin in the first place. Was Eve’s sin just an act of self-indulgence? Of eating something that wasn’t good for her body? No. Her sin lay in the fact that she disobeyed God. The act of disobedience to God is what makes something sin. Interesting that we would not know sin without the law, isn’t it? Almost like it is impossible to sin until you know better? I wrote about this topic once before in a recent post. No. The difference between Peter’s sin and Judas’ was the fact that Peter was caught off-guard, and Judas’ sin was premeditated. He had accepted the fact that he was going to sin.
Now what does that mean to you? How can seeing this difference change your life? Listen to this: you are going to sin. I am going to sin. As long as we are alive on this fallen earth, we cannot escape that reality. Does that give us an excuse to sin willfully, all the while smiling and saying, “Well, nobody’s perfect”? Of course not! Does that give us the excuse to have personality flaws and weaknesses, accepting them in our lives because we have committed the same types of sin hundreds of times, and we just can’t see ourselves changing? No! Accept the fact that you are a sinner, but never accept the sin. When we do sin, we need to reflect on it, pray about it, ask forgiveness for it, and then move on. We don’t have to live with guilt. That’s not what I am promoting. Do better next time. But we have to actually make an effort if we have any hope of doing better. We need to look for our weaknesses, the sin we return to over and over like an addict returns to his addiction. These are the areas that we need to take care of first. Don’t ignore them because they seem like part of your personality. Don’t accept them because they’ve always been around. Examine yourself and ask for God’s grace and help in dealing with these issues.
I know what my weaknesses are. I am very well aware of them because they nag at me constantly. Some of them, I have gone to great lengths to war against. I have set boundaries in my life to keep myself from coming within a mile of certain, life-destroying sins. I can never forget they are there; never let down my guard. (Overconfidence is very dangerous to a Christian seeking to avoid sin. I learned this the hard way.)
I know a couple of women. Now these women are literate; they can read. And they aren’t ignorant; they understand what they’re reading. However, there are a couple of scriptures in the Bible that they wish had never been penned. Or maybe they just wish they’d never read them. It’s not disobedience until they know better, after all. But these women have refused to honor God by obeying their husbands. They have lived their entire adult lives in direct disobedience to God. One of these women is finally starting to come around. I can see the difference in her life. Too bad she didn’t begin to obey until after she had already infected the other woman with her disobedient ideas and attitudes. Mothers, train your daughters to obey their husbands. Train them in word and in deed. They are watching you. And actions speak louder than words.
I am afraid we are losing femininity in our culture. Where will our daughters find themselves? Women are needed in the capacity that they were designed to fulfill. There’s nothing derogatory about that. We are needed. The world needs women, not just a bunch of men and a bunch of females aspiring to be men. I know that most of my posts seem to swing back around to the role of women, but I am truly concerned about this generation and the ones to follow.