Last week, on a hot and humid day, I met some girlfriends for coffee - just the beverage everyone wants to drink on a hot and humid day, right? We South Texans may be hot and sweaty but by golly, we love our specialty coffees just like those folks in the chilly Northwest.
But, I digress. As I was saying, I met some quality girlfriends for some quality chat time. I had just received my favorite sugar and espresso infused beverage when I promptly spilled the blasted thing. Coffee went everywhere: the table, the chair, the floor, my shirt and even my shoes (the real trauma). Now, spilling any coffee is bad enough but, this was 'designer' coffee (meaning I purchased it at a well-known coffee establishment at a designer price). Here I had spilled designer coffee on my designer shoes - POO! Not the way to start girl-time.
So, what do you think I did next? Everyone could see that I'd spilled it. It would be ridiculous to deny it. I could feel the burn through my clothes. The sweet scent of salted caramel drifted in the air as a sad reminder of what could have been. What if I decided to ignore it? What if, when my friends were staring at the mess in front of them, I just said, "What are you staring at? I didn't spill any coffee. Who, me?" They'd think all those latte's had burned my brain cells.
I'm not so sure we don't act just like this when we brush over our disobedience and rebellion against God. The effects of our disobedience, like a spilled drink, can be seen and felt - broken relationship with God, ineffective ministry, broken communication and relationship with our spouse or children. We've made a mess but instead of owning it and asking God for help in cleaning it up, our pride steps in and we quickly put up a wall of denial. "Who, me?"
King David was a rock star. He had it all going on until he stole something that didn't belong to him. (See 2 Samuel 11.) Rather than owning up to it he kept sinning to cover his tracks. He took that spilled coffee and spread it around, but good. His mess affected a lot of people and left a trail of carnage in it's wake. Instead of being the spiritual leader for his people, he became an ineffective leader. Eventually, a friend helped him see what he was doing and when David finally acknowledged his sin he was broken of his pride. This was a turning point for David. He got free of his sin by acknowledging it.
Look at David's prayer in Psalm 51 - 3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight; 9 Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. 10 Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, so that sinners will turn back to you.
You want to be a great wife and mom? Acknowledge your sin. Want to be a faithful friend or have an effective ministry? Acknowledge your sin. It's easy to point to someone else's mess but what about yours? God wants to do radically, life-giving things in our families and in our country but we are a prideful people (I'm afraid I'm first in that line). Let us own up to our mess and run back into the arms of a loving and forgiving God.
With the help of my friends, I cleaned up the coffee mess.
With the help of some strong chemicals I cleaned up the stains on my shirt and shoes.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I am convicted of my sin.
By the love and sacrifice of Jesus, I am led to repentance and forgiveness.
Friends, we don't have to live with the stain of sin. We don't have to deny it's existence. It is by his kindness that we are led to repentance and back into sweet fellowship with our loving Father.