For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. Romans 7:19-20
I battle so many sins in my life! For those of you who believe that Pastors and their families are immune to sin, well, think again. I can only imagine what life in my glorified – perfect, sinless – body will be like. Until then I am robed in flesh and I must fight to keep it in check.
I battle anger, covetousness, discontentment, selfishness, gossip, criticism, Phariseeism, laziness – need I go on? No, I didn’t think so. You’re thinking “Stop already! Just reading this makes me feel sinful!” And I agree.
I want to tell you honestly that I do not set out to covet someone’s new home or clothing. I do not wake up and say “Great! Today’s the day I get to blow my top in front of my kids!” I don’t plan to make today a “me” day and live only for myself. These sins, and many others, seem to creep in when I’m busy. Maybe I’m planning a ladies event and the children start bickering, the phone rings, the baby pulls a glass off the counter (which awaits my clearing it off) and it breaks into a million pieces, the toddler has an accident on the floor, while the baby is bleeding from a piece of broken glass in her foot – right then I blow up!!! I raise my voice at the children ordering them all to their rooms, I angrily sweep up my baby in my arms stepping over the glass and trying to sooth her, and fix her “owie”. Inside, I’m boiling! I then clean up my toddler’s accident while exclaiming to her “Why didn’t you go to the bathroom?? You know how!”
The phone goes unanswered, my planning goes uncompleted, and realization of my sin washes over me. I lost my temper again. I did not intend to do wrong. It just happened. It happened because instead of reacting according to Scripture, I reacted the way my flesh wanted. Guilt grabs me. I cry and ask God to forgive me, telling Him that I don’t see how Hecould forgive me when I knew better!! He gently reminds me of Peter in Matthew 26:33-35,69-75. Peter failed Jesus terribly. He knew better, too. He almost let guilt and shame keep him from serving the Lord anymore after he failed. The Lord tells me I can be forgiven, again, and I can keep going forward, again. I then apologize to my children, and finish cleaning up. I go on numbed by guilt and shame for the rest of the day. I’m always fearful that in another blink of an eye, I’ll fail Him again. Inside, I’m still beating myself up over the past. I even think to myself that “A pastor’s wife should never have this kind of problem!” That however, leads me back to the beginning of my story. We are all flesh, even Pastor’s wives. Anyone is full of pride if they believe they are better than others.
I must let go of the guilt and go forward, but I must always be aware of how quickly sin can take hold. If I stay on guard, then perhaps I won’t give in as much as I used to.
Lord, please forgive me for continuing in sin. I long so deeply to live a holy life for You. My flesh wars against me in these efforts. Please give me victory over sin, and over guilt when I do fall short. Help me to back up my words with my life.
We all struggle with sin, whether outwardly, such as swearing, alcohol, etc. or inwardly, such as covetousness, discontentment, etc. What do you battle?
What verse can you claim to help you defeat that sin? What other precautions can you take against it?
Don’t allow guilt to defeat you. Get up and go forward with Christ as your Helper!
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