It’s About Time

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“

How many times have you heard that verse? Is it your first? Is it your thousandth? What does that verse mean to you? I had to dig deep, believe it or not, to find that out for myself.

Last week I shared with you about feathers being ruffled in Bible study. One of the points of contention was the end of this particular verse. It says, “to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“ This is where a confession of one of my “uglies“ comes out.

The group worded it that once we choose to commit to Heavenly Dad and take on the identity of His heir, we no longer sin. Honestly, that ruffled every feather that I have ever owned, own, or will own. I know me. Saying that I don’t sin is like saying I always walk in a straight line. It just isn’t so. They also said that if I am sinning then why am I allowing myself to do that? Again, feathers at full alert. “What the what?“ Are these people for real? It felt like they were giving me and/or everyone else licenses to go out and “do to others as they want to do to them.” “Shut up Tracy, shut up,” was going through my head.

I left that meeting confused, frustrated but knowing and trusting that Heavenly Dad would reveal His truth in His time. They were allowed to hear God speak to them personally as much as I have a valid relationship with Heavenly Dad. I can’t judge them, they can’t judge me for the way He reveals truth. Yes, there’s only one way to heaven as sin separates us from Heavenly Dad, stated in this verses:
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’“
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.“

It’s the micro scoping of every verse that throws me for a loop. I love the Bible. Every word was written for a reason. Unfortunately, it was written in Greek and/or Hebrew. Can you read Hebrew or Greek? I can’t. Someone along the way has had to translate the original text. That’s like asking “How do you describe a banana?“ Five people may give five different descriptions but it’s still one banana. So it is with the Bible. Many people have translated and I’m sure few translations are exactly the same. That leaves room for interpretations…

This topic has been with me all week. Eric tried to help by showing me a video that has brought clarity into his life. Unfortunately, it equated the word guilt with condemnation. Yes, we sort of condemn ourselves, but guilt isn’t always bad. Is pain always bad?

If you touch fire, it hurts, so you pull back. It’s a safety precaution. If you step on a nail and don’t come down fast, that little bit of pain can save you from the nail piercing your foot. It’s a safety guard. So, too, can guilt. Often times the Holy Spirit, in His still small voice, will give us a nudge and we know that a little bit of guilt means we need a course correction. As soon as we make that adjustment, the guilt goes away and we have our freedom again. We are not supposed to wallow in the guilt, because that is shame.

You can take all of that with a grain of salt because that’s just my understanding of the way Heavenly Dad has spoken to my heart. He may bring additional clarity later on. Let me say: I hope your patient with me :-).

Have I gone on long enough? Let me bring it around for you. What Heavenly Dad has spoken to me about this week is: the group is right. Jesus paid once for our sins—like a deposit on our account. Every time I screw up, we’re not going to throw Him back onto the cross. He died once and for all. It doesn’t give me the license to sin. As a child of His, an heir, I won’t want to sin. If I do, I need to check my heart and true commitment. Did I think I chanted “magic words” for a fire insurance policy to be pulled out at the pearly gates: “Hi Peter! Um, yah, it’s here in my pocket. The date and time are stamped right there. What do you mean He looks at my heart…?”

I’m sorry-that was a butterfly moment. Back to the subject at hand: If I do screw up, fall into my humanness, I haven’t lost Him as a father and He hasn’t denied me as his child.

There’s a great story to reference in the prodigal son, but let me put it in terms of nowadays. Let’s say you were going to a wedding and told your child to stay clean but they went out and played in the mud. When they walked in the door and you saw them dirty would you disown them and put them out of your house? You told them specifically to stay clean. They choose to get dirty. Didn’t they love you? Do they consider themselves more important than you? No, they’re a child. They’re still learning. They’re going to make mistakes. You’re going love them anyway, help them clean themselves up, slap a smile on your face and, Lord willing, make lifelong memories. If you’re an amazing parent, not like I always was, you’d laugh about all of the dirt and the mess while taking pictures to scrapbook later, LOL. How you react to the situation is going to be remembered long after the wedding vows are over.

Our Heavenly Dad knows that we are children growing daily to look, act, and be like him. Unfortunately, we are just that, children. We aren’t born mature. We grow by learning, sometimes the hard way. Some of us are headstrong yet he loves us just the same.

If you want proof that he doesn’t give us a license to sin, check out Matthew 5:23-24 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.“

Gosh darn it, He doesn’t let us off the hook. We need to own what we do wrong and do the best of our ability to make it right. We can’t make someone forgive us, but we can sincerely offer an apology and do whatever we can to make it right.

After this week-long struggle, I finally quieted myself to hear what He had been whispering throughout the week. Thankfully, He’s not an “I told you so“ Dad/Father/ God. I just imagine him leaning back in His chair with me running around in circles, chasing myself, my list, my priorities…FINALLY coming to the end and falling on the floor exhausted. He then leans forward and asked, “Are you ready now? “

I was, so I listened. It was about time.

Until next time: blessings!


Author: Tracy Cook

Widowed one week before our 27th wedding anniversary, Heavenly Dad continues to carry me, now blessing me with a second chance for love.

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