by Tyler Quillet
Recently, my seven-year-old son was hounding me to read his daily devotions with him. Since I was making dinner, I told him that we would wait until after our meal. Well, in that short amount of time, he found a way to get himself into some trouble, which led to a difficult conversation while eating dinner. Dinner was now over and it was time for devos, so I asked him to go grab his book. “I don’t want to read my Jesus book anymore,” he said as he put his head down to pout.
I began to auger into why he went from jumping off the walls to read his devos to now saying he wasn’t interested. “Because I’m naughty”, he replied. “Mommy and Daddy and Jesus are mad at me.”
We’ve all been there, minus the pouting. Scratch that. Men, we’ve all been there, including the pouting! Just admit it. It’s in us and it’s been in us from the very beginning. We tend to run away from God when we’re ashamed of ourselves. Not only do we tend to run away, but just like the original sinners, we try to hide.
If we’re honest with ourselves, we’d admit that we sin each day. Some maybe not as “big” as others, but the “big” ones in our mind tend to lead us down a path of shame, guilt, condemnation, and all that junk that doesn’t come from Jesus and the salvation we receive through Him. This is why I love the parable of the prodigal son so much. This kid screwed up in a big way. However, he knew that his only choice was to return to his dad. He looked, felt, and smelled awful as he came back from his disaster of a time away. How did his dad respond though? With a big hug and a party! This is repentance!
This is akin to my turning from sin and turning to Jesus. This is acknowledging that Christ is my only option and He took my guilt, my shame, my condemnation on the cross. We don’t bear that junk anymore: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). That’s not just a verse of Scripture we hear often and give a head nod to; it’s truth.
I’ve watched too many men fall into sin, both “big” and “small,” and allow it to take them down a path of guilt and shame that they truly never recovered from. Why? Because they never turned back to Jesus with it. They ran away and hid, from both Jesus and the church that was there to walk with them through that time.
So what do we do? No matter your sin, don’t allow the evil one to sell you the lie that you are no longer good enough. Don’t grab hold of the mistruth that you are condemned. Instead, cling to the truth you know that Jesus took your guilt on Himself and you are free; you are cleansed and have been made righteous in the eyes of God through the work of Jesus Christ. Repentance is a big word, but remember its basic definition: every time you sin and turn away from God you simply turn back to Him. Don’t hide, don’t run away, don’t buy the lie. Turn back to Him and trust Him. And when you sin again (and you will), repeat the process.
You’re not alone in this. We’re all there. Turn back and trust. And in case you were wondering how that story ended with my son, he decided to give his devo a shot. I don’t think there’s any coincidence that the focus that day was on God forgiving us when we aren’t obedient. It’s a lesson we all need reminded of often. Now go, turn back to Jesus.