Written by Thomas Anderson, Pastor of Grace Men
Failure is one of those words in the English language that can crush us in seconds. Moral failure is no different, if not worse. Primarily because, as Christians, we long to hear the exact opposite from our Father in heaven: “Well done my good and faithful servant.” Yet 1 John makes it clear that Christians will fail to avoid the temptation to sin.
Even as I write, someone will have made a sinful decision that may have catastrophic consequences. It’s not so much the sin that has my attention, but the strong possibility that you are convinced that the only way to deal with that failure is to do your best to delete any record of it and pretend it never happened.
Failure to live up to God’s standard of holiness should not surprise us. We should be grieved, disappointed, maybe even angry, but not surprised. What should surprise us is when our sin doesn’t immediately draw us to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
Imagine injuring yourself to the point where your bone is visible to the human eye. But because of the shame and fear of what your injury will cost, you choose not to go to a doctor for help. Instead, you wrap it with plastic and attempt to go about your day as if nothing happened.
That’s madness. Not to mention you’re running the risk of further injury. Yet that’s what we’re doing when we keep our sin in the dark. Instead of meeting Jesus at the cross to do surgery on our hearts, we believe the lie that our sin is too big to confess. Too sinful to forgive. Too embarrassing to recover. Please believe me when I tell you that it couldn’t be further from the truth.
Remember, Jesus didn’t turn away thieves on the cross. He didn’t turn away Peter who rejected him three times. He didn’t turn away Paul who persecuted Christians. He didn’t turn away from me and all my sin, and he won’t turn his back on you. You can trust the one who died for you, so that you can have a life with your failure to not sin.
If you don’t believe me, read Colossians 2:12-15
having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
In Christ we have been made spiritually alive, your sins are forgiven, your record has been paid. The only thing Satan can do now is make you forget or disbelieve that all of this is true. At the cross is where our sin goes to die and “therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1)
As a result, you no longer have to be afraid of your failure. You are now free to confess to Jesus knowing that he is faithful to forgive and to one another. Besides, there is nothing more defeating to Satan than bringing our sins to the light.