Sin’s aftermath. Have you been there? Caught smack dab in the middle of the thing you said you would never do? Oswald Chambers said a sick man knows what health is because he has lost it. Likewise, we know God’s will the second we step out of it.
And that first step is a doozy.
Take it from someone who knows: Peter.
Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. (Luke 22: 60-62 NIV)
When the twin tigers of guilt and shame roar, here’s what not to do.
- Cover up: Adam withdrew, hid behind a fig leaf, and pointed fingers. (Genesis 3)
- Give up: Judas despaired, unwilling to return and embrace the One who shed His blood to cover Judas’ sin. (Matthew 27)
- Beat yourself up: Peter (Luke 22)
Initially, Peter wept. Bitterly.
But later, he penned this:
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. (1 Peter 2: 9-10 NIV)
How did Peter get to this place, one of mercy and acceptance?
I think Jesus tipped him off. Let’s jump to Luke 22 where Jesus gave Peter both a heads-up on the coming sin and how to deal with its aftermath:
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”(Luke 22: 31-32 NIV)
He prays for us too.
And He can—and will—still use us in the Kingdom’s work. If.
If we turn back.
Back to Him.
And that’s the tough part, isn’t it? All of us, kids, pets even, prefer to hide, to deny, or to shift our sin. Jesus offers to remove it, if we will just come.
And when we come, we find He will use broken, imperfect, wounded people. Why?
Because when we’ve taken a fall, we have a lot more sympathy for those with similar scrapes and scars. We offer first aid instead of judgement and that pleases Him.
When you’re caught, when the twin tigers roar, follow Peter to the Lion of Judah.
Then strengthen your brothers. And sisters. And children. And co-workers. And neighbors.
Have you ever been caught red-handed?
How did you feel?
What did you want to do?
What did you do?
Is it difficult to return to Him?
Do you believe God can bring good from bad?
Look back on a sin experience. How can you use that to strengthen your brothers?
We know God’s will the second we step out of it. And that first step is a doozy. Click to tweet.
When the twin tigers of guilt and shame roar, here’s what not to do: cover up, beat yourself up, or give up. Click to tweet.
Adam withdrew, hid behind a fig leaf, and pointed fingers. Click to tweet.
Judas despaired, unwilling to return and embrace the One whose shed His blood to cover Judas’ sin. Click to tweet.
When you’re caught, when the tigers roar, follow Peter to the Lion of Judah. Click to tweet.
Then strengthen your brothers. And sisters. And children. And co-workers. And neighbors. Click to tweet.