We all know that person that’s just a little too honest, and for those of you that know me, I am that person. This brutal honesty is both a blessing and a curse because while honesty is a good thing, all too often the things that come flying out of my mouth are much more brutal than they are honest. It’s in the name of honesty that I sometimes insult and offend. It’s in the name of honesty that I speak more harshly than I should. But today, it’s in honesty that I want to write about a tender subject: sin. More specifically, my sin.
I turned 18 last week, and let me just say that this first week of adulthood has in no way been the grand leap into maturity that I imagined it would be. In fact, it’s been a week of restlessness, fainting, an ambulance ride, and sin – lots of immature sin.
The thing about sin is that it’s easily hidden. My instagram friends see the best of my moments; my Facebook friends read the best of my thoughts. I’ve never posted a video of the way I harshly snap at my sister when she asks to borrow a CD and I’ve never written a status using the kind of language I use when I’m stressed out. Most of my readers and most of my very own friends have absolutely no idea how severe the selfishness, how bold the bitterness, and how powerful the pride that runs rampant in my life. And truthfully, neither do I. I’ve grown so used to my own sin struggles that, like the freckles on my face, I don’t even notice them anymore.
But this week, aside from the biting tone and inappropriate language that have accompanied me through most of my weeks here on earth, I’ve surprised even myself with some unusually childish choices and blatant disregard for what I know is right. And those have been things not as well hidden as the struggles buried deep inside. In fact, confrontation came from the last people that I would ever want to be clued in on the gravity of my life as a sinner, and that’s been very humiliating, and also very humbling.
I’ve spent the last 24 hours wallowing in grief and guilt, completely stunned by the blackness of my human heart and how easily I’m given over to the pursuits of my flesh. I’m ashamed, I’m embarrassed, and I’m disgusted.
And then these arrived at my office from a friend…
As soon as I saw them, I let out a dejected laugh, because the sight of fruit reminded me of that infamous fruit we read about in Genesis – the one that brought forth the curse of cyclical sin for all the world. The curse that keeps me from perfect communion with the Lover of my soul. But as I sat there perplexed, full of bitter hows and whys, God called to mind another verse about fruit:
Matthew 3:8 “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.”
And in that moment, his kindness brought me there, out of guilt and into repentance. Repentance not only for my sin itself, but also for the heart that tries to conceal it. Because the reality is, while I may be able to hide my sin from people, the only One whose approval matters is the One who sees it all.
And He’s already paid for it.
Today I did a lot of thinking about the kind of fruit I want to bear. Matthew 7 tells us that it’s by our fruit that we will be known, that good trees bear good fruit and bad trees bear bad fruit.
Today I chose to be a tree planted firmly in the truth of who He says I am, washed by His sin-cleansing grace, and living life like I’ve been forgiven. I desire roots that are deeper than the lies of the enemy and a love that is louder than the condemning nature of my internal dialogue. Sin is serious, but so is the love of the Father, and it’s a love that covers a multitude of sins. This week has reminded me so sweetly of the redemption that His blood has purchased me, and I’ve never been more grateful.
It’s funny what the Lord can use to shake you of your shame. Today I’m thankful for boxes that bear reminders of truth sweeter than strawberries and the love of a Savior that washes me white as snow.