A friend of mine hates Christianity because it is a ‘guilt-ridden’ religion. But it is completely the opposite! However, in my worst week of the month, my sin is always before me. If I don’t take my thoughts captive, they will beat me to a pulp. I know this is not the Holy Spirit’s intention in convicting me!
Strangely, I AM grateful for the times that I am aware of my sinfulness. Why? 4 reasons:
1) Greater awareness of our sinfulness is actually a sign of spiritual growth. As we become more aware of God’s goodness, holiness, and perfectness, the things that are wrong in our lives grow uglier by contrast. The Spirit slowly reveals our sins when He believes we are ready to deal with them. Even if I feel like I sin more than I did 20 years ago, if I had a sinfulness meter, surely I sin less now than I did then? Because of grace, I have no need for a sinfulness meter or to allow my sin to burden me.
2) My sin is a continual reminder to me that I am always in need of the cross. Jesus lived a perfect life for my righteousness and died a perfect death for my sins. When I hear the gospel, it is for me, right now -- not just for unbelievers or those who have just stepped through the door to begin their journey as a Christ follower. The gospel is for me, today, 34 years after I first received it. It is as powerful in my life now as when I first became His child.
3) I am reminded of His amazing grace and the freedom I experience as a result. The Father sees Jesus in me and He sees me as perfect. He is transforming me so that someday on the other side of this life, I WILL be perfect. There is no amount of striving I can do to make myself more acceptable to Him. Yet because of the grace, freedom, and love that come from Him, I want to follow His ways and love Him with my whole being.
4) When other people make mistakes, cause accidents, or upset me, I realize that I am not faultless either. In fact, only by the grace of God I stand, and I can offer others mercy and forgiveness because I have already received it in the fullest measure.
I will get to enjoy these benefits of my sinfulness on this side of heaven, but on the other side I will be perfected and enjoy all the benefits without it!