While I was washing dishes at the kitchen sink, my son strolled in and asked me a question.
“Mom, I know if you’re Christian, you’re not supposed to sin. But what if you do? What do you do then?”
“1 John 1:9 tells us, ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ ”
I love that scripture. It reminds me of my mother when I was little. She gave me a dollar, which was like $20 back then, and sent me to the grocery store across the street.
“Don’t run,” she admonished.
So proud that she trusted me on this important mission, I was anxious to get started. So I ran. I ran, and I fell … right in the middle of the street. Our street was actually a highway, so this was no small matter.
Crying, limping, bleeding and remorseful, I hobbled back to the house and sobbed, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
“Oh, my!” my mother exclaimed. “Did you fall?”
“Uh-huh. In the streeeeeeeeeeeeet! I’m sorry.”
“Come here. Let’s get you cleaned up.”
The cleansing of the wound was not without pain, but the dressing of it eased the pain considerably. Then came the hard part. As my mother held me and wiped away my tears, I held up the dollar bill. It was ripped neatly in half. I waited for the worst lecture and/or spanking of my life.
“That’s OK. Don’t worry about the money. I’m just glad you’re safe,” she cooed and held me even tighter. I determined right then and there NEVER to run across the street again.
That tender scene from my childhood perfectly describes 1 John 1:9 for me.
“OK, I understand the verse,” my son continued, “But, say you did that, and then you do it again. Then what?”
“ ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’ ”
“And the third time?”
“So you can do that, that sin thing, over and over and God will just continue to forgive you?”
“Well, son, the Bible says that there is a time when the Spirit of God will no longer wrestle with the spirit of man and will let man have his way. That’s not good.
“And the apostle Paul said, ‘God forbid!’ that we should keep on sinning just because we are under grace and not the law.
“So I think it’s better to get at the root of the sin and stop it.”
He looked at me quizzically, shook his head and walked slowly out of the room. A lot to think about, I guess.
“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” — 1 Timothy 4:12