The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21
Most Christians beat themselves up when they sin or make mistakes. I tend to be overly harsh on myself whenever I make any mistake. Indeed, I am my worst critic; and I allow my failures and sins to overwhelm my spirit for a very long time. Theologically speaking, I should know better and learn to surrender my sins and failures to God and not dwell on them as I try to move forward. Yet, I often find myself stuck in self-disappointment even though I know I am forgiven for my sins through Christ Jesus.
It is spiritually healthy to experience remorse for our sinful behaviors. This remorse is the conviction of the Holy Spirit who is reminding us of the holy standards of God. Our response should be repentance so we can be restored to a relationship of loving union with God.
True believers cannot afford to remain in a state of spiritual shame and guilt for too long. The devil will use that against us to prevent us from doing Jesus’ great commission work. Shame and guilt can neutralize our testimonies and prevent us from sharing the message of forgiveness with non-believers.
In today’s text, Paul reminds us of the power of God’s grace which erases our sinfulness. He is not condoning sin in any way. But he is reminding the saints in the church in Rome that it is the people with the most sins who receive the most grace. Why, because God’s redemptive love cannot be denied or defeated. Therefore, while it is necessary to confess our sins and repent of all unrighteousness, we should not be too hard on ourselves when we sin.
God is more concerned about our restoration than our condemnation. He does not remember the confessed sin of believers because of the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary. Therefore, we should not be so hard on ourselves as well. Instead, we should do our best to put our confessed sins as far away from me as the east is from the west.
Our God is not a micromanager who is outraged by every sin or failure of every believer. He is not looking for justification to judge and condemn us. Therefore, Paul tells us in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
When God looks down from heaven He is focused on our righteous deeds and not our sinful acts. Like the awesome heavenly Father that He is, God looks for opportunities to celebrate our faithfulness and obedience to Him as we journey toward our eternal inheritance. His grace is so amazing that it abounds all the more where sins abound.
So yes, we should be remorseful when we sin, but we should not forget about God’s grace and mercy. We should strive to live in righteousness through holiness every day despite our sinful nature. Whenever we mess up, we have to remember that tomorrow is an opportunity to do better. We should be quick to shake the proverbial dust off our sinful feet and keep pressing toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)
Questions for Personal Reflection
Why should you not be so hard on yourself when you sin?
Why are God’s grace and mercy so important for our spiritual journey?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for your grace and mercy that restore me whenever I fall short of your glory. Please help me not to be so hard on myself when I sin. Help me to put my confessed as far away from me as the east is from the west in a spirit of repentance and restoration.