Posts Tagged With: sin

Appearance of a Thistle

Hell hath no fury like a rancher going after a batch of musk thistle.

Are all of my non-country/ranchin’ peeps confused? My bad. Let me back up and give you a quick lesson on ranching and horticulture.

Musk thistle is a nasty noxious weed. You know how dandelions spread? Yeah, musk thistles do the same thing. Honestly, they are a kind of a pretty purplish color when they are blooming… but it just takes one weed to go to seed and before you know it, the entire pasture is taken over, choking out the good grass.

Then the cattle have nothing to graze on and what started out as a smallish-weed is now a really big problem.

Sure it is pretty now... but wait til it spreads and takes over your whole pasture... Or in our case, life.

Sure it is pretty now… but wait til it spreads and takes over your whole pasture… Or in our case, life.

That’s why whenever I was out checking cattle with my dad in my younger days, no matter how busy we were or what we needed to do, if we spotted one of those notorious weeds, we would always stop what we were doing, bail out of the truck and dig it up with the small shovel we ALWAYS had in the back of our truck.

We should attack sin the same way.

A few posts ago, I talked about what can happen when we let sin just “sit” in our lives and fester. This is a similar concept. If we know there is an unrepented sin in our lives and we just ignore it, we give the devil a foothold. Next thing we know, it has spread to other areas of our lives, consuming us and choking out the good things in our life.  Very similar to those yucky pasture thistles.

So what do we do? Well, we need to get out the shovel and some pesticide… And take care of business, like yesterday.

Sounds easy, right? If only. To an untrained eye (or heart, in this case) the alleged sin might look ok—or even pretty… just like that purple blooming musk thistle in the pasture. But don’t be fooled, friends. If you aren’t sure how to handle the sin or situation, take it to the Father. He LOVES it when we come to Him in love and submission. And He WILL help you…

He won’t leave you hanging. In fact, He will give you the tools to get rid of those “weeds” on a permanent basis if you are willing to commit the time and effort (and submission/dedication) necessary.

And once those weeds are gone… Then we  no longer have the appearance of a thistle, but the blossoming glory of a heavenly garden.

Growing for Him,
SGK

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.” ~James 1:5-6 MSG

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Just a Little Splinter

Have you ever thought about how something so teeny tiny can really throw your life in a tizzy?

Consider this… Just missing a payment or two of a school loan can really jack with your credit score. Going just a few miles per hour over the speed limit can impact your driving record when the cop writes out that fateful ticket. Olympic races are sometimes won and lost in just milliseconds.

Sin in our lives is the same way. Just a little “tiny” one, if left unattended, it can really mess with our lives. (Sidenote: there are not “big” and “small” sins… A sin is a sin is a sin. But I think we sometimes consider some “smaller” than others as a means of justifying our actions. But that’s another blog post. Anywho…) I personally think having unrepented sin in our lives is like having a splinter in our finger.

Think about it. A splinter might be tiny. And barely noticeable. Maybe a little painful. But it’s annoying. And we still KNOW it’s there. If left untouched, rarely does it resolve itself… instead, it could get infected and impact our entire being. All of which could be avoided with a little yank of the tweezers.

Same story with sin.

Splinters

Via Ed Munoz @ Flickr

An even more extreme (yet very possible!) comparison came to mind when I thought about the good ol’ Western movie Lonesome Dove. (Spoiler alert! If you haven’t watched this movie and might want to some day, skip the next couple of paragraphs. Because I’m about to tell you a major part of the story…) Remember in Lonesome Dove near the end of the movie? Feisty former Texas Ranger Augustus McCrae is in a standoff with some Indians… And ends up taking an arrow to the leg. Well, by the time he escapes and gets back to civilization, it’s infected pretty bad.

He wakes up and the local ol’ west doc has amputated the leg that had the arrow in it… And says that they need to remove the other one immediately because gangrene has set in. If they don’t act fast… Gus will die from the infection. But, in typical cowboy (who am I kidding? in typical stubborn humanness) Gus refuses and says he would rather be dead than lose that part of him. Sadly… That’s exactly what happened. Because he refused to take the necessary action to fix the “infection,” he lost his life.

I don’t tell you all this to gross you out or depress you. Instead, it’s just an illustration the gravity of having unresolved sin in our lives. When we let a sin stay with us and refuse to “remove” it or repent, just like that splinter or indian arrow… It can eventually fester, get infected, start impacting all areas of our lives giving the devil a foothold… and eventually result in our spiritual death.

So what are we supposed to do about it? First, we have to quit lying to ourselves saying _____ is just a small sin, a “splinter” in our finger. (We all are tempted to think like this. It is the messed-up-ness of our sinning human selves.) Then, we need to come to God and repent. Nothing fancy. You don’t have put on a production… Just “Hey Father, I really messed up… again. I’m sorry.” After that, we must continue to cling to Jesus and recognize when sin tries to rear its ugly head in our lives, God can give us the strength to avoid it. And if we don’t avoid it? We repent  and try ‘er again.

We don’t (and probably won’t) get it right, my friends. However, we can rejoice in the truth that God’s grace is enough– for all of our sins. He loved us enough to send His son to die on that cross… and He loves YOU today and wants to help you with whatever you are facing. Sin separates us from God– and He desires to walk with you and stay close by your side.

So let’s say so-long to those reoccurring sins. Get rid of those “little splinters” and rejoice in His abiding, abundant, overflowing love.

Sayonara to Splintery Sins,
SGK

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?” ~Luke 6:41 NIV

Categories: sin | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

He Forgave You– Now Forgive Yourself Too.

“If only I hadn’t… I wish I didn’t… Why can’t I go back… It’s all my fault.”

Regrets. Mistakes. We all have ’em. We’ve all made ’em.

So what are we supposed to do?

This week,  we have been working through reasons why our hearts can be blocked and how we grow apart from Christ. (Click to read the original post here.) Yesterday was all about forgiving others… a hard but necessary topic.

Today we touch on a subject that I feel is sometimes overlooked in our Christian world. Forgiving ourselves.

Our hearts are really complicated. When you add our brains and flesh to our heart mixture, things can get super confusing… And kinda messy. Fortunately, God can clear things up for us.

See, here’s the deal. God forgives us WAY more than we deserve it. Yes, we screw up. Yes, we repent and apologize to Him. Then He forgives us… And thanks to our human nature, that cycle repeats. (And thanks to God’s love, He continues to forgive us. WHEW.)

We can get stuck when we refuse to let it go  and let God do His thang. When we hang onto our past sins, hurts, regrets and don’t allow God to take them… It is like we are saying that The Cross was not enough.

Let me say it again… When we hang onto our junk (blockages), we are essentially saying “Thanks so much for sending your beloved Son to die on The Cross, God… but that’s not quite good enough for me. I need something more.”

Uh. Yikes? I think a mindset like that might be offensive to The Big Man! I sure wouldn’t be happy if I made the biggest sacrifice of my entire existence and somebody said it wasn’t “good enough” for them. Sheesh.

So what do we do? We need to get over ourselves. Seriously. (Yeah, I said it.) Yes, we are God’s loving creation, but we aren’t better than The Cross. And we don’t have the power to mess up more than Jesus’ sacrifice can cover.  We must GENUINELY believe with our heart, soul, mind and strength that The Cross WAS enough. God made a promise to us through His Son. The action of Jesus’ death on the cross FORGAVE us of ALL of our transgressions. Not just the little ones. Not the easy or simple ones.

ALL. OF. THEM. Every last lousy sin, from stealing a pack a gum, to hurting someone else to… well, you get the picture. After all– a sin is a sin is a sin. (But that’s another blog post 🙂 )

So today’s challenge for unblocking your heart is to FORGIVE yourself of any past hurts or hang ups. If you have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior* then YOU. ARE. FORGIVEN.

Period. The End. IT IS FINISHED. (Does that sound familiar?)

Do you struggle with forgiving yourself? Have you forgiven yourself in the past? What did you experience? Please comment here… I would love to pray and/or rejoice with you!

Let God do the work. Give Him your hurts and regrets. He loves you more than you can imagine. Let it go and let God do His thang, covering you with mercy, grace and forgiveness.

He has got it covered. The Cross did that for us. He Forgave you– Now go ahead and forgive yourself too.

Thankful for forgiveness,
SGK

“…If we admit our sins…he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.” 1 John 1:9 (MSG)

Forgive Yourself

(*If you haven’t accepted Christ and aren’t sure what  all that involves,  shoot me an email via sharita{dot} knobloch{at} gmail{dot} com. I would love to talk with you about it.)



Categories: attitude, Christ, cross, faith, forgiveness, freedom, God, health, heart, Love, peace, promises, release | Tags: , , , , , , | 17 Comments

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