Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Go and Sin No More

God is merciful and forgiving but we have to remember that forgiveness carries with it the necessity to try our very best not to commit the same sin again. This means praying for God's grace to help us, worshipping God with others at church and avoiding temptation.
  In the Gospel of John 8:1-11, Jesus is confronted with a woman caught in the act of adultery. The scribes and Pharisees say she should be put to death for her sin. Jesus is merciful and says: "Nor do I condemn you. You may go. But from now on, avoid this sin."
  In John 5:1-15, Jesus heals a man who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus says to him: "Remember, now, you have been cured. Give up your sins so that something worse may not overtake you." Apparently there are times when sickness is caused by a person's sins. So going back to a sinful way of life may bring on something worse.
  I think the part that people neglect the most is avoiding temptation. I often think of the modern dating culture. A young couple may desire to avoid having sex before marriage. But they spend time alone, in situations where no one else is around. Of course, nature takes it's course and they end up giving into the temptation to have sex.
  Or a single man or woman may be having trouble avoiding pornography. But they have no filters on their internet connections or watch movies or TV shows with sexually stimulating scenes. A person can't deliberately expose themselves to temptation and then expect God to give them the grace to resist it!
  When we go before God to ask for forgiveness, let's also remember to look back to see what led us into temptation in the first place. 

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