catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 6, Num 15 :: 2007.07.27 — 2007.09.07



These days repentance finds us feeling as if we get away with our sin.  As the thought of our current trespass lights in our minds, with it comes the thought that if we do in fact go through with the deed then we can confess to the one who is faithful and just to forgive us.  Problem solved. 

The guilt begins as we realize how we take advantage of God’s goodness and soon the power of His willingness to forgive is diminished.  But who's going to stop us?  We commit the sin we are struggling with, the expected guilt comes and the feeling of separation we had previously anticipated visits.  However since we had already envisioned our repentance we now feel like a schmuck when thinking about saying sorry. 

Hopefully this doesn’t work.  Hopefully we will find ourselves down on our knees.  Then we stand up and know that God has forgiven us.  But there’s the rub.  We knew he would!  We've found the loophole!  We walk away feeling God’s eye upon us, smirking with discontent on how this one has figured out the system. 

So that’s it?  That’s what Jesus died for?  To watch us walk away unchanged?   Ah, the joys of having a God that we can manipulate.  The truth is we will never serve someone we are above.  Our relationship with God begins to try to bear the weight.  Satan reminds of us of our sin and we remind him (and ourselves) that we're forgiven.  But it lacks power. 

It’s the oldest trick in the book.  Sin has disguised itself and our repentance was about as sincere as that of a three-year-old bent on getting his way.  We no longer believe that sin matters.  Our Christian culture has lifted up a couple of sins and made them the platform on which to reform the nation.  All the other ones, well, those aren't so bad, right?  Those ones are downright American!

To think greed is deadly and selfish ambition is damaging, that's just not so concrete.  When we first think of whichever temptation happens to befall us a flag should go up, but it doesn’t.  We are insensitive and welcoming of our own demise.  Our consciences aren't obsolete, so we do the mechanical act of confession and asking forgiveness.  The problem is that by this time we are pretty sure God doesn’t care and isn’t listening.  We don’t mind our sin, why should he?  Or if He does, then He is keeping himself busy going through the motions and is awfully irrelevant to my life and the way I’m feeling. 

We are wrong and worse, tricked.  God did hear and did forgive.  Instead of seeing our sin and ourselves for what we are and accepting His other way, we walk away even more hard hearted than when we began.  As soon as we decide to sin, our pride and our self-reliance ignites.  And it won’t die down until God gets a hold of us and says “Hey!  You’re not fine!  You’re sinning and you don’t even care enough to repent with an open heart.  I have another way for you.  Even though you think I’m made a fool because you can take advantage of my mercy, I tell you that you’re wrong.  I hang on the cross saying “Take advantage!  Take advantage of this as many times as you need to. You are lost.  And your time is flying past.  I do that for a reason.  Take my yoke upon you and find rest for your souls.”

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