If you're my age (40ish), I'm sure you remember Candace Cameron from the television series Full House. I'm sure you're also aware that her brother, Kirk Cameron, is one of the best-known christian actors in Hollywood. As I was browsing the net, I found this testimony and thought it really made a point. How many of us judge ourselves by what we see going on around us? There's so much evil in the world, so many doing such horribly disgusting things, so many with seemingly no morals or values at all and we say to ourselves, "I'm not THAT bad...at least I'm not doing what THEIR doing." We consider ourselves to be good people. No, we're not perfect, but we try to follow the golden rule and hey, we're only human, right? Well, like Candace mentioned in a separate video: when a sheep is viewed against a background of green grass, it looks strikingly white, but when a sheep is put next to a cotton-white sheet hanging on a clothesline, you see how dirty the sheep really is. It's the background that you hold it against that determines how white the sheep really is. There's a scene in the movie, Left Behind:Tribulation Force where a man doesn't think he's a sinner, but Kirk Cameron's character shows him just what God's word says a sinner is and he realizes he is one, after all. When we line ourselves up with God's word, the Bible, the holy scriptures, and really examine our lives, and our secret sins, we realize that we have come short, that we indeed have sinned and are guilty of violating God's laws. We, too, are in need of a Savior to forgive us, set us free and help us to live for Him. What you're doing may not seem as bad as what someone else is doing, but sin is still sin. Have you lied before, even once? You're a liar. Have you stole something, even something small? You're a thief. Have you lusted after a woman/man that you've seen? You're an adulterer. The Bible says even if a man looks at a woman to lust after her, he's already committed adultery with her in his heart. A liar and a murderer are both sinners and neither will have any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ. (Eph. 5:5) (Rev. 21:8) We've ALL sinned and come short of the glory of God. We ALL need Jesus to forgive us of our sins. God hates the sin, but he loves the sinner. That's why He sent Jesus-to give us a way out. He provided the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. He wants to take all the pain, all the hurt, all the guilt that you have and He'll wipe it all away. In His eyes, you will be a new creature. All we have to do is ask Him. Accept the gift God's given to us. Ask Jesus to forgive you and come into your heart and make you a new person. Like the woman in the Bible, who was a harlot, Jesus said to those who would've stoned her to death for being caught in the act of adultery, "He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone." No one did and they walked away. But what did Jesus do then? He said "Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?" and Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more." (John 8:1-11 KJV) What an awesome gift! How can we ever repay Him for what He's given for us?
So, who are we trying to impress? Who's approval are we really looking for? Does it really matter that other people seem to be getting away with things or that they've turned their backs on God yet seem to be thriving? It'll only be for a season. God is the final judge. We're all going to stand before God one day and be judged for all we've done. What will you say then as your defense? So-in-so did it so I thought I could too? It wasn't that bad of a sin? The Bible says in Phil. 2:12, that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Take it seriously. Read and Know what God wants for yourself. It doesn't matter what someone else does, all that matters is what God says about it. No matter how long you've been serving the Lord or what title you hold in church, we are all human and we need to choose to serve Jesus everyday and stay spirit-filled and stay in communication with God or sin can easily "beset" us too and we'll lose out on Heaven and wonder how that could've happened when we were "good, christian people".
Candace's testimony really spoke to me and I hope it helped you too. No matter how good a person we think we are, we always need to make sure our lives are lining up with God's word-with His commandments and how He says we should live our lives. We make that choice everyday-to listen to God or give in to the temptations of this world. Keep in prayer and reading your Bible daily, examine your self and say "God, show me if there be any sin in me." so you can deal with it and become pleasing in God's sight-He's the only one who's opinion really matters in the end. How white will your garment be?