I always find it interesting when people begin to talk about sin. Many times, they don't just want to find out what is right and wrong, they want to find out how much they can get away with! Is one sin greater than the other? Does God really forgive me? Am I truly sorry? All these questions come down to the heart. Deep down, what are you motives? If you are truly sorry, then you will feel compelled to turn from that sin and do your best not to repeat it. You will have this longing in your heart to make things right. In Psalm 119:11, it says, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." What does this tell us? It says that to know right from wrong, we must read God's word, find out what it truly says and means, and then follow it with our whole heart. Many people feel that if they do their best, they are truly good, and therefore a good person. God says that none of us are truly good, for we are all sinners. The problem with not knowing what God's word says is that we will just go around thinking that we are doing good, but not truly knowing what is good, therefore, being good according to our own standards, not God's.
Have you ever told a half truth? You omit part of the truth, and make it sound like it is the whole story. Half truth is just another word for a lie. Why is that? Because in your heart you are being deceiving. You know it and God knows it. A person tends to push this feeling into a corner and continue on. You try to tell yourself that you did tell the truth, even though you know the outcome would have been different if you had told the truth. The whole matter comes down to the heart. We are all born in sin, and we are all sinners. Our heart can never be fully pure while here on this earth. At the same time, we are created by God; He has a purpose for us. If we are truly His children, and have truly been saved by Him, the desires of your heart begin to grow closer to Him, desiring to be more like Him. When a person begins to pray, read the Bible, their heart changes. It no longer becomes a game of how to get away with a sin, or how far to stretch something to make it appear you are in the right, you begin to desire to do the right thing. You begin to remember that you are just as imperfect as the waiter having a bad day, or the driver who cut you off, who was maybe on their way to the hospital, or even the pastor who might say the wrong thing at the wrong time, not realizing that was the one thing that would offend you personally.
We all need to examine our own heart. Where is your heart at today? Is it hard, quick to judge, ready to react, and trying to get ahead any way it can, or is soft, quick to forgive, understanding of others imperfections, and desiring to be more like Christ. Take a moment to ask for forgiveness for the deceit that is in your heart, the impatience that consumes you, and ask God to fill your heart with Joy, to do your best to be honest in all you do, and to love those around you unconditionally. For God loves you...just the way you are...imperfections and all!