..and we’re each given ONE piece.
How can we get the puzzle done?
Remember when you were a kid, and you did something naughty to another kid? (C’mon, ‘fess up, you know you did. Especially if you have a brother or a sister.) Maybe you called her a name, like “dummy,” or “fatso.” Or maybe you (gasp) stuck out your tongue at him.
And… you... got... caught.
Then… your mom made you face that other kid (who you were still furious at) and apologize?!?!
It was horrible. After all, sticking your tongue out at that kid was perfectly justifiable. And it wasn’t that bad. Besides, saying you’re sorry is just plain humiliating. Most people would rather eat dirt.
But sometimes you just said sorry, and in ten minutes you were playing together again. And sometimes you just couldn’t do it, and you had to go to your room, or to a chair, or to a corner and “think about it.”
Doing something you’re not supposed to do: That’s sin.
Saying you’re sorry (and meaning it): That’s repentance.
Standing in the corner: Hey, you don’t have to! That’s grace!
There are, however, consequences to sins…
Do any of these things at your own risk. They’re dangerous, bad and naughty. That’s why they’re sins.
I have sinned, I know I’ll sin again, and God STILL forgives me.
He doesn’t make me stand in a corner, either. Once I say I’m sorry, it’s gone; like it never happened. (Oh, yeah, the consequences still hang around. If I don’t brush my teeth, God forgives me but I still get cavities!)
Know what I do, though? Sometimes I walk myself over to a corner all by myself, stand myself in a corner and FUME. “It’s not fair! I shouldn’t have to apologize! I’m better than that other person. She did it first!”
Wow. What a waste of time. Wouldn’t it be better to just apologize – and mean it – and get on with life?
...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23-24