A few months ago, I found myself alone on a Saturday night with nothing to do and a free preview of premium movie channels on TV. Tom and I take advantage of those free preview weekends to record movies that we missed in the theaters or favorites that we haven’t seen in a while.
But on this lonely Saturday, I watched a film that I originally wanted to see when it showed at our local theater. Reviews that made the plot sound a little too dark for my preference stopped me from seeing it. Turns out, the movie was disturbing. At one point, I asked myself why I was watching it (because a lot of friends had said it was so good). Later in the movie, I actually put my hand up to block the screen from my view, like I did as a child during a scary scene (tell me I’m not the only one who
did does that).
So…I watched the whole movie. After it ended, I felt a little disgusted with myself for watching; but I went to bed. No big deal. Or so I thought.
Sunday morning as the pastor began to preach, without warning, I was bombarded by scenes from the movie! I quickly prayed a confession and asked God for cleansing. This went on for 20 minutes. Every few minutes I would suddenly discover this movie, rather than the sermon, was occupying center stage in my brain. In disgust, I would pray for God to remove the thoughts, remove the memory. Even now I am careful to keep a mental distance from it so those images don’t come back.
I’ve thought about that day and how in those moments I was completely sold out to ridding myself of the sinful thoughts. My sin completely repulsed me and I instantly sought freedom in Christ from those thoughts.
So often I don’t react to my sin that way. There are sins that I struggle with repeatedly; but I’ve grown used to them or comfortable with them. They may frustrate me but don’t repulse me.
My sin IS repulsive to my God.
“Dirty rags” it says in the Bible. I’ve heard the original text is really a closer translation to filthy menstrual cloths. Yee-uck. Oh, and that’s not my sin. That’s referring to my good deeds or “righteous acts.”
I want to remember that Sunday’s experience. How I would love to get to the place where I continually see my sinful thoughts and deeds as repulsive as God does. Where, instead of being remorseful after the fact, I’m stopped in my tracks and led to conviction before committing the sin.
Do you ever feel that way? Pray this along with me.
Lord, daily – hourly – I’m pulled in a tug of war for my heart. I think it was Calvin who referred to our hearts as perpetual factories of idols or something along those lines. I can see that as I feel like some new deviation in my affections is constantly being created. When I think I’m tearing down one area of temptation, another springs up. What will it take before I’m completely focused on you? (eternity?)
Help me be repulsed by the sin in my life. Open my eyes to see it for what it is – a false idol that will leave me empty, broken, or worse. Cleanse my mind of things I’ve dwelt on in the past. Help me to forget them or be on guard if they pop back up.
You have the power to forgive sin. Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean. Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Thank you, Lord, that you have covered my sin with the sacrifice of your son. Thank you for the grace offered daily when I do mess up.
In the name of Jesus,