Would you return a lost wallet? That was the question researchers explored in a three-year study. They placed 17,303 wallets with varying amounts of cash in 355 cities worldwide. Besides the cash, each wallet had only a name and an email address. Their findings were surprising. More people returned the wallets with larger amounts than those with the smaller amounts! One explanation given was that it felt more like stealing with the larger amounts of cash. The conscience was not quite as bothered keeping the smaller amounts.
Today’s verse does not differentiate between “small” sins and large. It does not address whether one feels like a sinner or not. Just as the image is black and white, there are moral absolutes when it comes to God’s laws. And the bad news is that all of humanity falls short of the perfect standards of a holy God. But the good news is that the same “all” who blow it are offered His grace. Because of the redemption that came through Christ, we can have right standing before God.
I am included in that first “all.” But I cannot be included in the next “all” until I confess and come clean with Him. My pride keeps me from admitting my guilt. I am an expert at diminishing and rationalizing my behaviors and attitudes. It is easy to do when I compare myself with some others and come out “smelling like a rose.” But when I compare myself to His perfection, I no longer smell so good. He waits for me to be honest and humble with Him about my wrongdoing.
Thank you Lord, for freely forgiving me.