I have a splitting headache. It is to be expected considering the fact that my body is slowly ridding itself of all the toxins I've been putting in it for the last 6 months. I've come to expect this junk food hangover on the second day of dieting. It's like an old friend that comes to visit....or is it the annoying 4th cousin that drops in unannounced and stays too long? I take some comfort in knowing that it will be gone tomorrow along with a few more ounces of fat and flab.
I should be preparing a Bible study lesson for tomorrow, but I'm working up to that. We are studying the book of John at work and I have had such a good time getting to know the people that I interact with professionally on a completely different level. It's always encouraging to discover that everyone has basically the same issues regarding sin. We all have an area (or 2 or 3 or 15) where sin has us in it's clutches and we struggle against it. We fight it and fend it off, and yet it still hangs on and follows us around like a shadow. There are so many areas in my life that need work, and the only thing that keeps me fighting is talking to God. Confessing that sin over and over is quite frankly, a little embarrassing, but I know that God hears my confession and knows that my heart is repentant.
Knowing that God forgives me doesn't give me free license to sin and then beg for forgiveness later. The saying, "It's easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission" doesn't hold water with God. He expects me to actively make choices that are in alignment with what the Bible tells me is right and to constantly be vigilant about those sinful areas in my life. I am going to sin. That is a fact of my state of total depravity. The difference is that I choose to sin as little as possible and to recognize sin when I see it.
Ah....there's the rub! What is sinful behavior? We all know the ten commandments even if you have never stepped foot inside a church. Those are the obvious ones...and even those get broken on a regular basis by the average Joe. Not the murder, but what about lying? What about taking the name of the Lord in vain? Do you covet? I know I do. How many times have I not kept the Sabbath holy? Even beyond the Big 10 there are so many other areas where sin creeps up on us. Just this morning I was impatient with my children, I broke the law by speeding to work, I didn't pray at all, and I had very ugly thoughts about someone that I know. I mean, I've only been awake for 3 hours. My day has barely gotten started!
So, when I'm finished writing this, I'm going to pray for forgiveness and mercy and ask for my daily portion of grace to make it through the day as sin free as possible.