I was one of those “good” girls growing up – I never really did anything “bad”. I didn’t smoke, didn’t do drugs and didn’t sleep around. I didn’t party, didn’t rebel against my parents and basically looked really good, on the outside, that is.
But on the inside it was a different story. I had gobs and gobs of secret sins, hidden ones that only those who looked close enough could detect. I struggled with pride, self-centeredness, jealousy, bitterness, doubt, worry, greed and the list goes on . . .
Looking good on the outside kept me from seeing the depths to which I had fallen. It was easy to justify my secret sins and to point my finger at others. I didn’t see that my hidden sins were just as destructive, caustic and vicious as anyone else’s. I didn’t understand that my sin was separating me from God. I didn’t know that my heart was just as dark and evil as a serial killer’s.
In my eyes, the debt I owed was insignificant, just a little hurdle to overcome, really nothing much to be concerned about.
In the book of Luke we see a woman who understood the depths of her sin.
When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. (Luke 7:37-38 NLT)
Look at Jesus’ response to the Pharisee’s critical assessment of her extravagant demonstration of gratitude.
That is why I tell you, that her sins, many as they are, are forgiven; for she has shown me so much love. But the man who has little to be forgiven has only a little love to give. (Luke 7:47 Phillips)
He paid the ultimate price for my sin - He willing gave His life for mine! But the casual view I had of my sin, greatly diminished the price He paid for me.
A few years ago God began exposing my secret sins to His LIGHT and I slowly began to comprehend how ugly my sin was and how immense God's love is.
It’s now become very apparent to me that I am no longer the “good” girl I thought I was. I now see how destructive my sin was and is and how much it separates me from the God I love. But I’ve also discovered how incredible God’s grace is!
For the rest of my life, I want to live with a heart of gratitude overwhelmed at all God has done for me.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. (Psalm 40:2-3 NLT)
Donald Miller in his book, Blue Like Jazz, tells a story about a friend of his who went around the country interviewing ministry leaders. One of those leaders was a man named Bill Bright, (who passed away few years ago) he founded Campus Crusade for Christ.
“Alan said he was a big man, full of life, who listened without shifting his eyes. Alan asked a few questions, I don’t know what they were, but as a final question he asked Dr. Bright what Jesus meant to him. Alan said Dr. Bright could not answer the question. He said Dr. Bright just started to cry. He sat there in his big chair behind his big desk and wept.”
I want to love Jesus like that!
What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee dearest friend,
For this Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever;
And should I fainting be,
Lord, let me NEVER, NEVER
Outlive my love for Thee.
(O, Sacred Head Now Wounded, Anonymous)