Today, I spilled coffee down the front of my shirt.
This quickly resulted in a huge brown stain. Impossible to miss. Right in the center of my pretty blue shirt.
As I tried (unsuccessfully) to dab it out with water, it got me thinking about sin and the ugly mark it leaves behind on our lives.
When we repent and ask God’s forgiveness, he washes us clean. He removes all traces of the ugly stain that was so noticeable before. We are forgiven. We are beautiful. We are whole.
But if we keep drinking coffee, chances are, we’re probably going to keep spilling on ourselves. Not every day. But it will likely happen again.
So we’ll repent again. We’ll pray again. God will wash us clean again.
We’re humans. We make mistakes. Despite all our best efforts, we fail. And God washes us clean every time.
Except … what is our heart feeling when we repent? Are we (perhaps without fully realizing it) taking advantage of God’s infinite forgiveness?
If I have a clean shirt, but keep putting myself in a situation where I’m going to spill on it, my heart is not right with God.
I can’t keep engaging in behavior that’s going to stain me. That’s taking advantage of God’s grace and not taking responsibility for my actions.
We are not expected to be perfect. We are not expected to never get a stain again.
But we should try, as much as we can, to stay away from situations, behaviors and areas where we know we’re likely to get stained.
We need to have a heart that seeks God first, above all else. It’s not easy. It’s uncomfortable.
But his grace is completely free. His salvation is free. And this is the type of heart that he asks for in return.