Monday, February 27, 2012

Lent: Day 6

Return of the Prodigal Son
Return of the Prodigal Son
The Church of St. Mary Abott
Kensington, London
Photo by Lawrence OP
Reading for Today: Psalm 32

Christians often have a reputation for sourness. Misunderstandings about the season of Lent can perpetuate this perception. During this season, we often spend even more time than normal focussing upon our sins. We confess, and we repent. If we're not careful, we stop there. Our spirit becomes trapped in perpetual state of sorrow over our sinfulness. While sorrow over one's sin is a part of the Christian life, it is meant to be a fleeting part.

The overwhelming emotion that Christians ought to experience when thinking of their own sins, is joy, not joy over the sin committed, but joy over the sin forgiven.   The Psalmist declares, "Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit" (Psalm 32:1-2). There are no Christian merit badges for wallowing in guilt and shame. God has spoken the ultimate word of forgiveness over our lives in and through the person of  Jesus Christ.

Our appropriate response should be nothing less than joy!

"Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death" - 2 Corinthians 7:10.

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