I Have Sinned; What Next?
“I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself?”
We often tell people that the first thing they must do to overcome sin is to admit their sin. There is no doubt that admitting one’s sin is vital to the process of restoration. Without admitting one’s sin, you can never get to the next step of the journey of getting back to where the LORD can use you again. You can never be helped without admitting that you have sinned and need the help of the Saviour. The most important three words that can be said by the sinner before they can turn their life around is, “I have sinned.”
However, many are afraid to say those three words because of what happens after they admit their sin. Job said, “I have sinned;” but look at what happened after he admitted he sinned. His friends set a mark against him as if he was a bad person for admitting his sin. Verse 21 says that they would not pardon his transgression; neither would they stop throwing his sin at him. According to verse 21, these friends were like vultures seeking for him to die even though he was sleeping in the dust.
Sadly, times have not changed. There are people who will never allow someone who has sinned to be restored. Instead, some believers continually throw the past back at the restored sinner, even after they have admitted their sin to God,and have taken the corrective steps of restoration. Do you feel like this about yourself? Do you find yourself asking the question after you have come back to God, “What shall I do?” Let me give you a few thoughts on what to do when others continue their attacks of destruction after you have admitted your guilt to God.
First, never let the hateful and destructive attacks of others keep you from accepting God’s forgiveness in your life. God has forgiven you even if man continues to throw your past back at you. One of the hardest things to overcome when a person comes back to God is to feel worthy enough to be used again by God. Let me remind you that you were never worthy of be used by God, even before you committed the “great sin.” God used you before because of His worthiness, not because of your worthiness. Though others won’t forgive you for what you have done, you must always remember to forgive yourself because God has certainly forgiven you.
Second, never let the hateful and destructive attacks of others be your excuse to continue in sin. It can almost feel worthless of trying because of the Pharisees who won’t let go of what you have done in the past, but you can’t let that become a crutch to continue to sin. Just because others won’t forgive your sin doesn’t make it right for you to continue in sin. You must stop listening to the accusations of what others say about you and move forward in spite of their inability to accept God’s forgiveness for you. Always remember that God’s forgiveness of your sin is not predicated on the ability of others to forgive you.
Third, let the hateful and destructive attacks of others be your motivation to move forward so that you can show them that God’s power is great enough to use someone like you again. I know this may sound like a strange motivation, but it must become a motivating factor to move forward, not to spite them, but to show them that God’s grace is greater than any sin.