Life as a Repeat Offender

There’s nothing worse than being a repeat offender when it comes to sin.

Before knowing Jesus, we live life the only way we know how: our way. Sin hurts, but only because of its consequences. We fail to recognize who we are ultimately sinning against: God.

Then we meet Him. We slowly wrap our minds around His character, His holiness, and His love. It starts to click that God’s wrath was poured onto His sinless son because of OUR SIN. Your sin. My sin. It’s personal. Once we see that, our motivation to flee from sin is much stronger.

But we’re still in a fallen world full of temptation. And when (not if) we fall, returning to old ways of living or succumbing to old temptations is frustrating. It’s grieving. It’s disgusting.

“Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.”
– Proverbs 26:11

I say to myself: “Yuck. That about sums it up. God, I was supposed to be free from this! You found me. I know you. I love you. I know better. I can do better than this. How could I fail yet again? I’m so embarrassed. Guilty. Ashamed.”

I spend so much time and energy telling people that in Christ they are free to struggle. I plead with them to believe that they are forgiven, loved, and that no sin can separate them from His saving grace once they’ve put their trust in Him. And yet in my times of sin I refuse to believe it for myself. Returning to my old sins after knowing Christ is taxing on my soul and heavy on my heart.

Lately God has been using the mess I make for something greater. He takes the Melissa-hurricane, the disaster in my heart, and uses it to draw me in closer. It’s when I’m broken that I learn to truly rely on Him.

Grace isn’t a one time deal. My repeated offenses highlight the fact that I still need a Savior. No matter how much I’ve grown, I will never be at a place where I can do life alone. It’s not meant to be that way. It’s in my weakness that He is strong.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9


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