Caught in Sin
I sprang to my feet frantically trying to cover up what was obviously condemning. My step-dad had come home way sooner than scheduled. I put my shirt back on like a marathon-runner, whispered to my boyfriend to make himself look natural, and rushed to the bathroom door after my step-dad to make innocent small talk. He didn’t ignore me and his voice didn’t indicate that he was mad. “Great.” I remembered thinking. “I didn’t get caught this time.”
You’d think being spared the embarrassment of being caught red-handed in sin would motivate me to stop before things got worse, but unfortunately it didn’t. For a season, escaping the humiliation of being caught in sin was a thrill that inspired me to take even greater risks. I crossed the line so many times, taking God’s grace for granted. But no one ever found out about the skeletons inside of my “good girl” closet, or so I thought…
Though no one ever physically caught me, God knew all about the secret sin I was engaged in. I could deceive people with an outward appearance of holiness, but God saw my heart.
“…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart (1 Samuel 16:7, ESV).”
What about you? Have you been caught red-handed in sin? Has what you’ve done in the darkness come to the light? Or have realized that God is aware of your sin? Is He graciously prompting you to repent and walk in holiness? If you’ve answered “Yes” to any of those questions, then this article is for you. Here are 4 encouragements for the woman caught in sin.
#1| God wants to welcome you home.
Have you ever read Jesus’ parable, “The Prodigal Son” (Luke 15:11-32)? It’s the story of a foolish son that demands his father to give him his inheritance prematurely. Despite his son’s disrespectful and ungodly request, the father does so. The son wastes his inheritance on reckless living and hits rock-bottom. In the midst of this low-point, he realizes that he’s made a mistake and decides to return to his father to ask his forgiveness, forfeit his title as son, and instead become his father’s hired worker. To the son’s surprise, his father was anxiously waiting for his return. In fact, his father ran to embrace him, and even through a feast to celebrate his homecoming.
Jesus’ parable demonstrates the love God has for repentant sinners. Perhaps you’re hesitating to confess your sin to God because you feel like He will turn you away or reject you. Not so, Beautiful. Repentance doesn’t entice God to reject you, it invites Him to forgive you and cleanse you from sin. Just as the father waited for his son to return, God is waiting for you to change your mind about sin and come to him for forgiveness so that he can embrace you in His arms.
#2| Jesus is willing to forgive you.
Naturally when someone breaks the law, we expect that criminal to receive justice –that is punishment for his crime. However, when religious leaders brought the woman caught in adultery before Jesus for judgment (John 8:1-11), He responded by showing her grace.
Grace means “unmerited favor,” and it is completely at the discretion of the judge to give or withhold it. Grace doesn’t erase or diminish the crime, it acknowledges the crime while demonstrating unmerited kindness to the one who committed the moral failure. Jesus would’ve been completely justified in condemning the woman, but He wanted to show her grace.
Jesus desires to show you grace, too. This doesn’t mean that your sin isn’t wrong or offensive to God. But Christ is willing to forgive you, if you are willing to admit you messed up and ask Him to.
#3| You can start over.
Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery, but He also encouraged her to live in holiness. Observe His conversation with her below:
Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more (John 8: 10-11, NLT).”
Jesus doesn’t save us to continue in sin. His salvation provides both forgiveness and life-transformation. This is why 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” You don’t have to be overwhelmed by guilt and shame. Your past doesn’t have to define you. Christ offers you a clean slate and the strength to live a life pleasing to God.
#4| God wants to celebrate over you.
When the prodigal son returned, his Father celebrated by throwing an extravagant feast in his honor. Our Heavenly Father longs to do the same for you. No, I’m not talking about God throwing you a BBQ. As the father rejoiced over the prodigal son’s return, God longs to celebrate over you in your restored relationship with Him.
God’s got blessings planned for you –kind of like the son’s inheritance in the parable. Even if you’ve screwed up like the prodigal son, God hasn’t run out of goodness for you. There’s still hope for you. God still has a seat with your name on it. He’s just waiting for you to initiate that restoration by humbly asking God for forgiveness.
What’s Done in the Dark…
There’s nothing safe about hidden sin. “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all (Luke 8:17, NLT).” Whether we are caught in the act by man or God, concealing guilt poses a great threat to our souls. We may be able to escape the condemnation of others by fooling them with fake godliness, but before God our hearts are naked and exposed. So come to the Father, sis. He’s already aware of your short-comings. Come with your brokenness, and He will welcome you with open arms.
CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION
I hope this post has been encouraging to you! Continue the conversation by sharing which truth from the post above was most encouraging to you.