So after a fantastic afternoon with my dear friend Tammy, I am thinking a lot about what we discussed. Mostly, we caught up on family and friends and happenings, but we had some time to really discuss God’s vision for our lives, what God designed us to do, and the frustration of often not knowing what the next step was.
Something else we discussed was judgement, sin and heaven. A lot of things have been on my mind, but this is one thing I feel compelled to write about. We, as humans cannot determine or judge who is going to heaven or to hell. Only God knows our hearts. But I do know that the one sure way to heaven is through faith in Jesus as our Savior that died for our sins. God is all that is pure and good and holy and He cannot stand the presence of sin.
That discussion of judgement lead me down the thought path to one of my least favorite words: hypocrites. Per the dictionary, the definition is as follows:
hypocrite (n) : a person who professes beliefs and opinions that he does not hold
No one wants to be a hypocrite, but I have yet to meet a single person who is not. Who does not profess to love God and adhere to specific religious beliefs – and then fall short? If I love God, but am a sinner, I am a hypocrite. If I call myself a Christian, but do not act in love in all things, I am a hypocrite. Since in so many ways I have not lived up to what I believe, I am a hypocrite.
But I think as a Christian, I should confess my sins, turn it over to God and move on. The only thing worse than one sin, is dwelling on the one sin, believing I am beyond hope and continuing to sin. Then, the devil has truly won. But since I know that Jesus triumphed over death and sin, there is hope and reason to reform.
Anyway, all of this reminds me of the Mea Culpa from Catholic mass:
I confess to almighty God,
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have sinned through my own fault,
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done,
and in what I have failed to do;
and I ask blessed Mary, ever virgin,
all the angels and saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord, our God
But I think that Paul says it best in Romans 3:23-24
“23For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins.”
Unfortunately, Paul is right – I do fall short of God’s glorious standard. But the point is not that I fall short, but that God is merciful to those who believe. And that is a great message of hope.