…My sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs on my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, Lord,
come quickly, Lord help me.
I always thought I was a good person. In fact, I prided myself on it and may have even been a bit arrogant about it. In my hubris I used the Ten Commandments as a checklist and found myself to be more than satisfactory.
One day I did something that broke no specific commandment but did break the heart of the one person I love the most. I tried to justify my actions telling myself over and over that I had not broken a commandment, I had not broken any law. I even rationalized that it was her reaction to what I had done and not what I had done that was the problem. Somewhere on I-10 in south Louisiana something finally snapped into place and the reality of what Jesus preached to the Pharisees over an over finally hit home. It is not the letter of the law that is important but the spirit:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
I had not broken a commandment but I had broken the heart of my one true love. I could not in any way shape of form say that I had loved her as myself in that moment of weakness. From that perspective I began to look at my life and realized that despite keeping the letter of the law I had sinned constantly against its’ spirit. I honestly broke down in tears, sobbing as I drove along as the full impact and realization of my sinful nature hit me…
In that moment of true humility I recognized how broken I was, how I had been judged and fallen short throughout my whole life, and for the first time ever I truly and honestly begged God’s forgiveness…
It’s been a long, and not always very smooth or straight, road since then. I still struggle with my arrogance and sin. I still stumble and fall because I am only human and by nature imperfect but at least that hubris has been replaced with hope…hope, in God’s Grace and forgiveness. Hope in the salvation bought for me on the cross.
Thank you Jesus…