When I first came to know the Lord, I tried to walk perfectly. I failed.
I tend to use the date of the first time I was baptized – even if it was by sprinkling – as my date of coming to the Lord. I was eleven. I did not want to go on sinning. I think I had attempted to be good earlier than that. I failed before, and I failed after.
However, the conviction was so heavy after I was baptized. I thought about Jesus telling that lady, “Go and sin no more.” Of course, I had it completely out of context.
I knew that Jesus would forgive me, but I still felt like I failed, and it was worrisome to me.
Having confidence in your salvation is hard at any age. Being 11 did not make it any easier. My sins were not huge sins by man’s standards, but sin separates us from God. My imperfections – including a hot temper – were tripping me up.
What about you? Are you discouraged because you cannot walk perfectly? What does “go and sin no more” mean anyway? Why can’t we do that?
They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
None of her accusers were without sin. She just got caught in what they considered a great big one. The particular one that she got caught in was a willful choice. It was not a slip or a transgression. It was a choice. Jesus told her not to do that again.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
We are saved by grace through faith. It is not a license to sin, but we will sin again. Perhaps you know someone that is struggling with walking perfectly. Help them to understand that Jesus died for all their sins – not just the ones in the past.
Today’s challenge is to forgive. Sometimes the first person we need to forgive is ourselves. Jesus did. If we could meet the standard of perfection, God would not have had to send His son to die for our sins. We cannot, so He sent Jesus. Then, forgive others. Jesus died for them too. When they sin against you, it does not mean there is anything wrong with you. I think that is why we find it so hard to forgive at times. We take it personally. Perhaps they simply sin because they are no more perfect than we are.