Tag Archives: Sin

How Much Like Your Family

Illustration: Don't Be a Circus Elephant

Don’t be like circus elephants: When elephants are just babies, the trainer puts a shackle around one of their legs, with a chain attached to a stake. These 300 to 400 lb babies will try and try to get away from that chain, but they can’t. The strange thing is that when the elephant is an adult, it can still be held by the very same shackle as the one used on the youngsters. How is that possible?

Elephants really do have great memories, but they aren’t that bright. The adult remembers how he was staked up as a baby and couldn’t get away from the stake. And at a certain point, as a baby, he became convinced that he could never get away. So now as an adult, he doesn’t even try. The elephant is not chained to the stake; he’s chained to the idea that he can never get away. That’s how a ten-pound stake can hold down a two-ton elephant.

Some of us have found ourselves tied to our past just like a circus elephant chained to a stake. This is one of the primary tools and schemes of the enemy to defeat Christians and to keep us from finishing strong. The enemy, Satan, will throw our past back at us and make us feel unworthy, undeserving, trapped, etc.

Jesus said He came to destroy the works of the devil. If you have truly turned to Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, He wipes them away. Read Psalm 103 to get a taste of what freedom feels like. Jesus does not “remind” us of our sins, He forgets them. When He was dying on the cross He said, “It is finished.” Your sins have been paid in full. And that is good news!! Jesus Christ is like “the jaws of life” that cuts through the chains that can hold us. And what He starts, He finishes. —

“Sin messes us up, but God can clean us up!!” Praise the Lord!!

Sin vs. Mistakes

We have all inadvertently messed up, right? I don’t have to think long about my many mistakes. I am forever calling my children the wrong names. So much so, that I started at one point to call them all George, that way they would all respond when I wanted them.

A couple of weeks ago I accidentally scratched the paint on a new car with my truck door. I certainly didn’t mean to, but I was responsible.

Did you read about the Dad of a player that broke the national championship trophy that the great University of Alabama football team earned last year? And it cost $30,000!

Carleton Tinker said this, “It’s that whole sinking feeling in your stomach, then your heart up in your chest,” Tinker said. “… As that thing’s rolling off the top, and it only took a second, all of those thoughts go through your mind. ‘Why couldn’t it have been the person before me? Or the person after me?’ But things happen.”  This was a sad accident, but insurance will replace it, and Tuscaloosa will receive yet another trophy in the near future. It is replaceable.

A mistake is never a sin. And a sin is never a mistake. A sin is done on purpose. When we rename a sin it doesn’t change it! There is no divine forgiveness for mistakes – because we do not confess mistakes, we only confess correctly when we admit our “deliberate breaking of God’s law!