“I’m a good person for the most part.”
“My good outweighs my bad.”
These are common responses when people are asked about the morality of their life. Most of us consider ourselves good people, and yet we also readily acknowledge that there is an abundance of hate, violence, and brokenness in the world. How does that compute?
It doesn’t, but we manage to talk ourselves into it. We presume on the mercy of God and assume that God is willing to casually overlook most of the bad things we have done for the sake of the abundant “good” we have done. As humans, our default line of thinking is that we don’t sin as often as we actually do, and that the sins we commit are not as offensive to God as they actually are.
This is how we end up in the delusion of thinking that we are better people than we are. It is also how most of us can go through life thinking that God is more or less pleased with us, and not particularly bothered by the few blemishes of sin on our lives. As long as we remain in such delusion, we will be blind to the good news that Jesus has died for our sins. If we are blind to the depth and enormity of our sin, we will also be blind to the depth and enormity of God’s love for us demonstrated by Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins.
So, we do well to ask ourselves the question posed in Psalm 130:3.
“If you Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?”
Indeed, if all our sins were recorded in a book and we could read page after page of our sins, we would be forced to our knees and would cry out to God for mercy. Even if we only commit five sins a day, a generously low number, by the end of a year we will have amassed 1825 sins. By the end of fifty years, we’d be over the 100,000 mark and the book of our sins would be bulging at the bindings. And these are conservative numbers.
So, could you realistically stand before a judge and say, “Look, I’ve only committed a touch over 1500 sins this year, but none of them are that serious.” Would the judge pardon you? Would he slam down his gavel, declare you innocent, and throw the book of sins in the trash bin?
Standing before God, as he reads through our big book of sins, we are clearly at his mercy. Thankfully, he is fully of mercy and there is forgiveness and full redemption in Him, as the psalmist says in verse four and seven:
“But with you there is forgiveness.”
“Put you hope in the LORD, for wit the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.”
With these words the psalmist is giving us a hint of the good news. He is prophetically pointing us to Jesus and the full redemption and forgiveness that is found in him. Jesus didn’t just take our oversized book of sins and throw it in the garbage, he took all the sins in the book and carried them on his bleeding back up to the hill and nailed them to the cross. Paid in full.
When we see our sins in their proper light, as they really are and not as we imagine them to be, only then can we fully appreciate what Jesus has done for us. Instead of condemnation for the millions upon millions of pages of sins we have committed, our names get written in the book of life. What good news!