The season of Lent prepares us for the annual remembrance of the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is a time for self-examination. However, few Christian regularly practice the spiritual discipline of examination of conscience. They are afraid that if they look too deeply, they won’t like what they see.
I would say to you, look within and celebrate whatever you find there. During any serious self-examination, you will find evidence of the grace of God. You will also find evidence of sin. Both are reasons to celebrate. That’s right. Celebrate God’s grace and celebrate your sin, or more accurately, the awareness of your sin. The former because it will remind you of God’s goodness and the latter because only those who are new creations in Christ can have an awareness of sin. The unredeemed have no sense of sin. Indeed, that you are conscious of your sin is proof that the Holy Spirit is alive in you. Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth” John 16:13. Only those to whom the Holy Spirit has come are able to see the truth of their sin.
When the Spirit awakens you to the sin in your life, He does not expect you to deal with it yourself. As the Apostle Paul acknowledges in Romans 7, humans can’t rightly deal with the sin nature. What the Spirit expects you to do when you uncover some sin is to immediately bring it to the light, for sin cannot exist in the light of God. The worst thing you can do is to make excuses for your sin, “I know I shouldn’t have done that God, but let me explain.” Confess your wrongdoing and God can deal with it. If, however, you try to vindicate yourself, you remained trapped by your sin.
So the next time you have an aware of some sin in your life don’t get caught up with feelings of guilt. Rather, thank God that His Spirit has revealed the truth to you, ask Him for forgiveness and if need be make restitution to the person you wronged. If you’ll do that, you will soon discover a wondrous thing happens. You’ll find yourself in a situation that used to lead you to respond in an ungodly way and you’ll realize that you’re handling it in a whole new way. That’s your cue to again thank God for His amazing grace.