Monday, September 03, 2007

Casual sin

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Hosea 4, 5, 6

Hosea 6:1-3 (NIV)

1 “Come; let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us; He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days He will revive us; on the third day He will restore us that we may live in His presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains; like the spring rains that water the earth.”

Good morning!

I was trying to count up the number of times I sinned yesterday and I think I lost track somewhere in between yelling at my husband, indulging in a three-minute pity party, and becoming not so patient with two very busy grandchildren. Casual sin creeps up like the river levels after a snowy winter meltdown. Am I really sorry for allowing those pesky feelings to override a common sense of right and wrong? I know there is a sweeter girl deep down inside, but sometimes, I lose sight of her. You might say I failed miserably at the “Fruit of the Spirit” challenge. Have you taken it lately? How would you rate yourself in the areas: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control? Do you springboard into the pool of casual sin often?

Hosea begged His people to stop misbehaving and take a serious look at how much harm they were bringing upon themselves and each other. It wasn’t so much what they were doing; their apathetic attitude and thoughtless disregard for repetitive sins seemed to be the greater issue. Hosea expressed grave concern over casual repentance. We mess up and say we’re sorry. We assume God will simply wipe the slate clean, over and over again. Do we really mean it? Was I sorry yesterday when I became emotional and testy? Do I deserve complete forgiveness when I approach sinful behavior by justifying my actions? Of course, I’m tired. It’s been a crazy week in our family. God surely understands and forgives my irrational outbursts. Should He? Maybe I should think twice before opening my mouth.

Oh, my dear friends, it is so easy to sin. We do it so often, we don’t even think about it. We take our Ten Commandment Checklist and check them off, one by one. We think we’ve got ourselves under control until we realize we have to give up control completely in order for God to take over and keep us safe from casual sin. I know God forgives me for those occasional outbursts when I’m truly sorry and seeking His mercy and grace. I hope my family will forgive me. We must not become so desensitized that we no longer recognize our sin for what it truly is and how it grieves the heart of our heavenly Father. Forgiveness is a perfect gift, and yet it came at such a great price.

The cycle of casual sin needs to end. With Christ’s help, we can break free from those little things that seem to add up during a twenty-four hour time slot. Come and let us return to the Lord today.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Pray for: Help to break the pattern of casual sin in your life. Like Hosea’s kin, we are drowning in the muck of repetitive, casual sin. Ask Jesus to help you become acutely aware of the little things that separate you from a holy and perfect Father. He will help you to overcome, and offer complete forgiveness IF you are truly sorry.


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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