Carpentry has been a hobby of mine for many years. It became such a hobby that I actually made a living with it for a couple of years. Now any good wood butcher knows that if you cut enough boards, you will make mistakes from time to time. If I could just invent an effective board stretcher, I’m sure I’d have a million dollar idea. Unfortunately, for the story I have today, I board stretcher would not even have helped.
I was a teenager and had not yet begun to master my carpentry skills. I did however know how to cut a board with a circular saw. I was trying to make some improvements in the kitchen and determined that a board had to be cut. Now the smart thing would have been to take to board outside in order to minimize dust in the house, but teenage boys are usually not all that concerned about dust. By the end of the day, I had determined that the dust was the least of my problems.
Now when working in the limited confines of your mother’s kitchen, there is not a lot of room for a saw horse; besides, why use a saw horse when the kitchen table is right there? For those of you who see the writing on the wall, you may have already let out a gasp of “oh no!” Now most saw horses are made of wood, and most saw horses have several cuts across the top of them where the saw naturally passes as they are used to support the board that is being cut. That is fine for a saw horse, but not for a kitchen table. Fortunately I did not pass clear across the table, but only cut about an inch into the side before I noticed what had happened.
Please realize that it was a very small cut. As I said, only about an inch long and about half that deep, but trust me, there is no way to hide something like that from your mother. It would have been foolish to just pretend that it did not happen. My careless negligence had caused a blemish in her beautiful table.
I admitted to Mom what I had done. Although she was upset, she eventually forgave me. Her forgiveness was so sincere that when I recently asked her about it, she had forgotten that it even happened.
Do we realize that trying to hide our sins from God is like trying to hide the cut in the kitchen table? We may say that it is a small sin, just as I argue that it was only a small cut, yet even a sin that is small in our eyes mars the holiness that God expects. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10.
Do we grasp how serious that is? Now when I cut the table, I disappointed my Mom. I marred a nice piece of furniture at a time when we did not have much to spare, but in the big scope of things, it was not as serious as one little sin against God. “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15
The first half of Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. In other words, the consequence of sin is ultimately death that leads to eternal separation from God in the lake of fire. If the verse ended there, our situation would be quite hopeless. It would be as hopeless as my being able to make the cut in Mom’s table disappear, but the whole verse says, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In other words, because Jesus paid the price for our sins if we put our complete trust in Him and Him alone, we are accepting His free gift and we will be given eternal life instead of an eternity in the lake of fire.
Just as I had to ask Mom to forgive me for cutting her table, so we must ask Christ to forgive us for our sins. I John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:2 states, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous”.