The other day while in my car sitting behind the driver's wheel waiting for the red traffic light to change...my thoughts were nowhere in the vicinity of the intersection in which I sat. So when the car next to me proceeded forward... I also took my foot off the brake and drove through the intersection too. The problem was...the car next to me was in a turn lane with a green light and I was in a straight lane with a very red light! Yikes!
Thankfully...my mistake did not result in an accident...but I instantly felt terrible. “Forgive me Lord” I quickly spoke as I glanced around to see if a police car was anywhere in sight and saw none...so I breathed a sigh of relief ~ vowing to myself...I will not do that again!
Sad thing about that vow...this was not the first time I’ve ever done this very same mistake...nor was it the first time I had the same good results. Nope! The few times I've repeated this same mistake I have been fortunate that it has not caused an accident...and every time it didn't result in my being held accountable.
It wasn’t until I was home again (I decided I needed to keep my thoughts on my driving until then) when I gave what happened at the traffic light more thought.
I sat down and thanked God for protecting me, protecting the other drivers and allowing me to avoid getting a ticket. My thoughts quickly wandered away from my prayer of gratefulness as my feelings of overwhelming relief kicked in again. "Thank goodness, no one I know saw my embarrassing blunder!" To be honest...I even felt a bit elated that I had escaped the penalty if I had been caught going through the light. Thinking..."No harm, no foul"...I began to get up to go about my day again. I was ready to move on to more pleasant things.
However...I felt the Lord’s urging me to sit a while longer so that He may speak to my heart. As the quiet gave way to His presence in me...I discovered quickly that the Lord desired for me to join Him in some self-examination...He wanted me to take a closer look not so much at my fault of “bad driving” and it’s consequences...but my attitude in not being caught.
“Kathy...Do you think there is not any fault in a thing unless somebody sees you do it?
You feel it is a great sin if someone steals and are caught robbing the owner ~but what if he should not be discovered—does that make it no longer a sin? You are offended and seek justice against someone who is caught misrepresenting the value of what they are selling ~but if they were never to be discovered, does that make them sinless?
A sin is still a sin, whether done in private or before the whole world. Do not measure sin by what you or other people say of it; but measure sin by what I say of it, and what the Holy Spirit says of it.”
Conviction settled over my spirit. Strange isn't it how our nature knows how to find just the right circumstances and conditions in our lives to help us hide our sinful responses so that we don’t even see them as sins that need confessed!
I may have earlier confessed my sin of inattentiveness and quickly found forgiveness...but my unrepentant hidden sin was tucked away in my attitude of feeling relief...and thinking myself as “not at fault” since my actions didn’t result in being found out and thus held accountable.
The Spirit of God does not admonish us so as to condemn us...but to set us free so that we may live our lives more abundantly... as a reflection of His Son... and all to the glory of God!
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:1-2