Yes, that’s what I did. No excuses, no explanation; the title tells the truth. As much as I’d like you to believe–like I want to–that I am nothing but a thoroughly nice and compassionate person, the story of my character is just more complicated than that. I do what I don’t want to do. What I wish I did in certain situations, I don’t.
Sin is traced through my behaviors in such a way that I can’t obscure it. I can pretend it is not there, but I cannot alter reality to agree with me. So, what is my hope? I can’t erase this occasion of violence; neither can I obliterate the case it makes for my heart’s impurity. I am in need of not just forgiveness but an execution of spiritual transformation.
For that I cannot look to myself or anything that I can see or touch in my world. I need more than an intervention. I need a regenerated heart. I must be filled with a Life that is unknown to this world and its corruption. I need something that belongs only to God.
I praise God that I can have His righteousness to cover me. You may think, “But you don’t deserve it!” You’re right, I don’t. If I could deserve it, I wouldn’t need it.
That’s all there is to it. If I will trade in my unrighteous rags, Christ will transfer His majestic righteousness to me. He will not only cover me with His moral perfection, but He will daily cause the pristine quality of His character to seep into me and change me.
At the moment, I am still in the middle of experiencing the glorious process in which Christ’s character seeps into me. That process is not finished. Thus, I still have moments like the one where I used a fork in a way that injured another person. I still need mercy. I do not need excuses, but mercy is not an excuse. Rather, it is a gift that abounds toward the one who is guilty. It provides the opportunity for a new start that is not deserved. Mercy is everything about God and His glory transcending our sin.
Where does mercy fit in your life? Maybe you welcome it with open arms–rejoicing in the Savior who gives it. But, perhaps you reject it–either believing that you are not quite bad enough to warrant it or that you are so evil that mercy could never be enough.