I Wouldn’t Do That

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The other day, 10-year-old Jessica spent the afternoon at a friend’s house. When she returned home, she brought with her a plastic Ziploc baggie of some of the cookies they had made. She placed the bag on the kitchen counter, and we managed to enjoy some cookies without eating them all the first night.

That’s why they were still there the next morning, when Timmy came to the kitchen to eat breakfast. Of course, he immediately spotted the bag of cookies on the counter. “Cookies!” he exclaimed happily, grabbing the bag.

“Timmy, you can’t have cookies for breakfast,” I said.

Timmy unzipped the bag. “Oh, I’m not, no,” he said innocently, reaching a hand inside. “I wouldn’t do that.”

“Then why is your hand in the bag?” I asked.

“I’m not having a cookie for breakfast,” Timmy said in what he probably hoped was a reasonable tone, as he withdrew a cookie. “I’m just having it for a snack.”

With that, he popped the cookie into his mouth and took a big bite.

We started justifying our actions to make wrong seem right in the Garden of Eden, and we still do it today.

Well, it’s not really gossip, per se. I’m just sharing information the other person should know.

I’m not doing anything everybody else doesn’t do, and most people do worse!

We’re masters at dressing up our sin to make it look like righteousness so that we don’t feel guilty. Sometimes, we dress it up so well that to others, it may even look like nobility.

God knows better. He who searches our minds and hearts isn’t impressed by the mental gymnastics we go through (whether consciously or unconsciously) to avoid the pain of knowing we’ve blown it. He knows what’s really going on within us, even when we don’t. He also knows that we have a hard time facing and owning up to what we’ve done.

That’s why, in an incredible demonstration of His perfect love and tender compassion, He removed our need to feel any shame. He didn’t make us stop sinning, but He did send Jesus to die on the cross, and while Jesus hung there, God punished Him for everything we would ever do. Just in case we didn’t understand the enormity of this, He also declared through Scripture that for those of us who are in Christ Jesus (in other words, those of us who have a relationship with him), there is no condemnation. He showed it to us, then He wrote it to us.

We are never condemned, no matter what we have done.

Next time you and I sin—and, sadly, there will be a next time—instead of hiding or justifying anything, let’s run straight to God’s loving arms. Let’s confess our sin and receive the healing and restoration He offers us. And then, let’s praise Him for His magnificent love and forgiveness—both here on earth, and someday, throughout all eternity.

Romans 8:1—Therefore, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. (MGV)

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