Guilty as charged

I plead guilty your Honor, guilty as charged.

I stood there guilty, head hung in shame; the weight of my indiscretions anchored my eyes to the floor. The guilt of my deeds caused my chest to tighten; it’s hard to breathe. Unable to raise my head for fear of the disgust I might find in the eyes of the jury, my eyes dart aimlessly, searching for something, anything to distract me from the trial taking place in my head.

The judge clears his throat as he prepares to pass my sentence. ‘Ms. Jackson, the charges brought against you are grievous, you have demonstrated your disregard for the law and for this, your punishment should be death… however you are free to go’. Wait, what? Did the judge just say I was free to go? My head swimming with confusion, I grapple to make sense of what just took place. I should be led off in shackles, I should be taken to the town square and stoned for my actions, but instead I was pardoned?

Ephesians 2:4-5

‘But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved’

How many times have we sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? For me, it is a daily struggle. I have a deep desire to please God in all areas of my life, but sometimes I miss the mark. I’m guilty. And not only do I struggle to get it right but whenever I fail, the guilt and condemnation I feel are unbearable. My shame is so great that sometimes I don’t even want to pray, forgetting that God’s great love for me covers a multitude of sin, forgetting that I have already been pardoned through grace, and I am no longer guilty.

Romans 8:1 – 2

‘Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death’

Could it be that maybe, just maybe we are too hard on ourselves? Could it be that we judge ourselves way too harshly? Could it be that in our efforts to be perfect, we forget that Christ has already made provisions for our inevitable failures? Yes, we should strive for holiness; we should be like new-born babes desiring pure spiritual milk so that we may grow up in our salvation.

Failing does not make us failures; it simply means we are human. It is not important how many time we fall, what matters is how many times we rise from our shortcomings. If we could walk this christian path on our own and in our own strength, why would we need God? So, let us view our failures as an opportunity for the Lord to do a good work in us, let us view our shortcomings as a platform for the Lord to demonstrate His power and glory in our lives.

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Oh yes – we are failures… but I so appreciate your point that it’s not about the failure, but rather the fact that we repent and get back up again, learning from our mistakes to do more and better in the future. My husband reminds me daily not to beat myself up, but rather delight in the Lord and be aware of Christ’s sacrifice and what it means for all of us. We are blessed.

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