“By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:19-20, ESV).
There is not a single living person that has lived a perfect life. In fact in all of history, there has been only one perfect life and this life was lived out by our Savior, Jesus Christ. This fact forms the basis of both the truth of human sinfulness and the grace of God which Christians believe saves and sanctifies all of us as imperfect people.
Yet even as forgiven Christians, we live out our lives struggling at times with guilt and shame from our past and our less than perfect life. In reality, we may have acquired the wisdom to realize the danger of listening to our human hearts that would lead us into sin through wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and excess. We may have seen how sin creeps into our living at different moments. We most likely know from our life experiences, the deceitfulness of our hearts in the minimizing of the reality of sin and its consequences (Jeremiah 17:9).
Thus in our humble appraising of our own weaknesses we can find the keys and strength to counter the allure of sin; yet there remains another side to the deceitfulness of the human heart. This deceitfulness lingers around our past sin because it drags us into the sea of guilt and shame like an ocean sleeper wave with a dangerous undertow.
We stand in the surf at times and yet can be oblivious to the momentary lapses of remembrances that come in the form of an overpowering tugging from the residue of past sins. Sometimes this pull is so strong that we end up in water full of confusion, regret and shame. Our best efforts may never heal the hurt we have caused, reduce the consequences or redeem even the smallest aspects of those sins but we must never forget the power found in the grace of Christ to forgive and heal us from all sin.
We must remember the reality of God’s amazing grace to cover all sin, including all of our sin. We must speak the truth of Christ’s sufficiency in forgiving all sin and taking away all condemnation into our human heart. No matter what we feel at any moment, the truth of Christ’s redeeming and sanctifying love must be rock upon which we stand until the teeming waters of doubt subside. Thus we stand upon the rock of faith, remembering “there is no condemnation in Christ” and this is the unwavering truth in our lives regardless of what we feel because of God’s mighty work in declaring and securing as His children.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do …” (Romans 8:1-3, ESV).