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I messed up

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I have to admit something. I’m not a very nice person all the time. I can get angry and spout off when I shouldn’t. I think thoughts that shouldn’t be in my brain. I am what God calls a sinner. I give in to my sin nature that everyone is born with —  and the results are not pretty.

Just ask the company I called this week and left a very heated, emotional voice message after hours. Sure, I felt better after saying what I felt was true. But of course, I lived to regret being that direct —  and honest. I do feel like they made a mistake and I shouldn’t have to pay for it. But I didn’t have to say that with so much heat in my tone of voice.

You probably know what happened next. If I could have broken into their business and stolen the answering machine, or erased it I might have considered it. (I’m teasing here. My message wasn’t that bad!)

But the next morning, as I started to open my Bible, God convicted my heart of that sin. I knew exactly what I had to do. I would leave another voicemail apologizing for my outburst and try to find a way to compromise. 

Most of the time I’ve called this local company in the past, I can’t get a human to answer. But of course, a human did answer this time … and it wasn’t even 8 a.m. So I gave my name and admitted I needed to apologize for the previous message I left.

He explained something I had failed to understand, and we came to a compromise we could both live with. 

I admit these faults of mine because I am human. I’m a sinner with a black heart just as dark as someone who committed murder last night. God doesn’t have a sliding scale for sin. It’s sin when we go against God’s desires. When I was seven years old, I recognized the fact I was a sinner estranged from God because of that sin nature and I needed a Savior to clean my sinful heart.

And Jesus Christ did as He promised and forgave me of that sin nature and now He lives in me and I follow Him. It’s quite obvious that even “Christians” (that just means a Christ follower) makes mistakes. Just because I write a column because I’m also a pastor’s wife, does not mean I am better than anyone else. I’m a sinner who accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior.

My stubborn self wants to take over and listen to the enemy who whispers in my ear, “You are so right. That company is trying to cheat you.” Christians are far from perfect. We are just forgiven. And with God living in us, IF WE LISTEN, we stay on a path that honors God and hopefully leads others to that truth too.

Eternity is ahead for all of us. This life is not all there is. As wonderful as this life is at times, God has a much better forever and ever place created for us. When my heart stops beating, I’ll instantly be with Jesus. All my shame, pain, shortcomings, selfish thoughts will be forever gone. 

If you look back to the first paragraph of this column, you will see the word “I” a lot. That’s our problem as humans. We think we have it all figured out and are smarter than God. But we aren’t. We have a huge hole in our spirit that searches for meaning to this existence. The answer is God. He created us to want Him, but we don’t listen. Because we think that makes us weak, and we don’t want to give up control. Hey, my actions the other night show that we can still be as sinful as we want. God didn’t zap me dead at that moment. But being “right in my eyes” did not feel good the next morning.

It is a lot more rewarding to recognize that God is in control and my life is better when I follow His ways and His plans.

Proverbs 21:23 reads, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”

It’s obvious now, I should have cried out in frustration to God before I ever called that business. (In my car with doors and windows shut tight!)

Then the next verse, “A proud and haughty man, “Scoffer” is his name; he acts with arrogant pride.”

Just because I work for the newspaper and have this tremendous opportunity, I want readers to understand I am no better than anyone else. God has to hear my confessions of shortcomings every hour —  and I’m grateful His word says he forgives and forgets! Wow. He’s patiently waiting for you to seek Him, too. No sinner is too evil to come to God and ask for a relationship with Him.

Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Romans 10:13, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Put your name in place of the word, “whoever.”  There are no built-in exceptions to this rule. Accept, Believe and Confess today that you need Jesus, too and let’s enjoy eternity together.



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