There has never been a single individual on earth – other than Jesus Christ Himself – who hasn’t fallen short of God’s glory. Scripture is clear that ALL have sinned and fallen short (Romans 3:23).
There is not a single person out there that has had a ‘perfect’ past – every person has had an imperfect or not pleasing past… Every person lives an imperfect present and as long as we are here on earth we will all live an imperfect life. Does it sound all doom and gloom or does it give you encouragement to hear this?
The problem when people do talk about ‘imperfection’ or about ‘sin’ they have PERCEIVED different sins as ‘greater’ sins and thus treat those who commit those particular ‘greater’ sins as those who have an unpleasing life. Such people who point at others in this manner remind me of the religious leader pointing at the tax collector at the temple and telling God that he is thankful that he isn’t like this tax collector (Luke 18:10-14).
To whom did Jesus tell this parable? “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else” (vs.9).
Sadly many of us today imitate that very pharasaical leader and the ‘Christian’ community supports it. The better you are at ‘hiding’ your sins, your shortcomings, your downfalls, your weaknesses or pretending they simply don’t exist, the more you are looked upto as a ‘good Christian’, and are respected, promoted, elevated, accepted… the positive treatment is given Yet the moment you are transparent, honest, confessing and admitting to your wrongs and your mistakes with the desire of seeking God’s mercy and longing for change, like the tax collector above, you are frowned upon by the religious self righteous leaders, then you are ostracised, rejected, labelled, cast aside, put down, devalued by the ‘Christian’ community.. all the negative treatment is showered upon you.
Jesus clearly added to the parable that those who exalt themselves will be humbled. Those who shun others as ‘sinners’ with ‘imperfect pasts or presents’ are exalting themselves not perhaps by words but by their actions – implying they are better so these people deserve to be pushed aside. (It’s important to note however, Jesus is talking about a REPENTANT sinner, not those who are faking repentance or those who pretend to be perfect or those who willingly sin).
The religious leaders were the very people that Jesus Christ openly REBUKED as hypocrites, brood of vipers, dogs.. the terms weren’t that pleasant were they?! Mind you this was BEFORE the work of Jesus on the cross, before He shed His blood to purify us from our past. After that, He expects of us to wash our hands and feet as our bodies (the past sins) have already been cleansed by His blood – it is the hands and feet that get exposed to the world through our walk in the world which then need washing – confession, repentance and a U-turn from the mistakes and sins we commit daily! We may stumble then but God sees the hearts
Jesus makes it clear that He came for the SINNERS. Self righteous people who condemn and label those who are living a transparent life are actually smearing the sin that God has washed away back on the person’s face. Indirectly they are DENYING the work of Jesus on the cross. Ask God if you are doing the same to other people and even to yourself?
Yes every one of us have fallen short of God’s glory… Sin isn’t just about sexual immorality or physical murder the way we magnify those with the hope of escaping from our logs!
Sin is not doing what God calls us to do!
Take a look at the list of the acts of the fleshly nature that Paul spells out clearly in Galatians 5 and contrast it to the fruit of the Spirit in the same chapter. What do you observe?
Now think of these particular acts:
Fits of Rage
Those are also listed AT PAR with sexual immorality and drunkenness. All are equally sin.
Inbuilt in the definition of the term sin both in Greek and in Hebrew, is the concept of ‘missing the mark’, straying from His perfect plan for your life. Hypocrisy, acting, pretending are also in the meaning of the term sin in the original terms.
If you are not responding in obedience to what God is calling you to do (no matter what ‘good’ reason or excuse you have for it) that is EQUALLY sin as well – making you fall short and thus not have a perfect life right now.
God in His mercy gives us second chances and lifts us up if we turn to Him with true repentance an a desire to make a U-turn so that we come right back to the centre of the path that He has set out for us.
We may make decisions believing it is in God’s perfect will, and it may not have been so – In fact, our flesh could have could have taken over, the work of the evil one is subtle. Yet the Father heart of God will bless it no matter what – and we will have to face the consequences of the wrong choices too… (Think of David’s life).
What could have been an easier path or a more fruitful path will not be to that same extent in this ‘permissible will’ for which we settled for, given the fact that our choices were not aligned with His PERFECT plan for our lives.
On the other hand….
When we delight in HIM, our fleshly desires are replaced with the desires He has for us.. and those become are desires, our heartbeats. God then blesses us with those desires. That is what Psalm 37:4 talks about!
If what we receive is not what we desired, then we know the desires we had were not of God but of the flesh. In all things, no matter how trivial they may feel, it truly helps if we would take time to pause and ask God to search our hearts to reveal our blind spots as to where we are straying from HIS perfect plan, to nudge us back and to be able to discern His voice. Get used to doing this with the seemingly trivial choices in daily life!
Being constantly in tune with God is intimacy with God – it’s about loving Him
So yes, whether we have sinned in one way or the other – we have all sinned.. and there is hope that by His blood we all stand as saints.. and we are ALL a work in progress and equally loved by our Heavenly Father – the FATHER heart of God is that!
The more we yield, the more we surrender , the increasingly we are restored back to the image of God in accordance to His perfect plan for us. We will be perfected beings in Heaven – and we await for that in joyful expectation!