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Posts Tagged ‘penitence’

Pretty simple stuff: you can’t know you’re breaking the law if you don’t know the law. Ha! Who are we kidding? We know most of the laws … even when they’re not posted or written down.

Romans 3:20
Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

So many times, we think we can avoid “punishment” by saying, “we didn’t know.” But this is a flimsy excuse and doesn’t hold water even in traffic court. If you drive a car, you’re supposed to know or find out about the law… like the speed limit or right of way etc. It’s no different for a believer.

A believer either knows in her heart what is “right” or if she is unsure, she’d better get out there (or in there, i.e. the Word) and find out.

I work in a library and I think it’s pretty sad that we had to actually post a little sign next to each work station that says, “Please be considerate of others. Loud talking, rowdiness, and inappropriate language disrupts those around you.” Well, duh! And the reason we had to post it? So that we could point to the sign and say, “See! It’s library law that you must be considerate. And if you break that law, we can ask you to leave.”

But isn’t this is really a sham? Everyone knows that inappropriate behavior is unacceptable in public. But people simply choose to break this law because … well, why do people break the law?

You know: we break the law because we want to.

I break the law because I want to do what I want to do. I want to drive faster than the speed limit. I want to turn left or right, no matter what the sign says. I want to tweak the truth on taxes, etc.

And in the end, I’m a spiritual lawbreaker as well. I confess each day. I must.

In the Book of Common Prayer, the Litany of Penitence is read on Ash Wednesday. But truly, I need it every day. Without confession, I would be lost.

“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

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