Corrie ten Boom told the story of a little girl who broke one of her mother’s demi-tasse cups. The little girl came to her mother sobbing, Oh, Mama, I’m so sorry I broke your beautiful cup. The mother replied, I know you’re sorry, and I forgive you. Now don’t cry any more. The mother then swept up the pieces of the broken cup and placed them in the trash can.
But the little girl enjoyed the guilty feeling (and the attention her mother gave her). She went to the trash can, picked out the pieces of the cup, brought them to her mother and sobbed, Mother, I’m so sorry that I broke your pretty cup. This time the mother spoke firmly to her, Take those pieces and put them back in the trash can. Don’t be silly enough to take them out again. I told you I forgave you, so don’t cry anymore and don’t pick up the broken pieces anymore.
When we bring our sin before God, we’re like that little girl. We confess what we’ve broken in our lives and God forgives us. Unfortunately, sometimes our sin has gotten us to feel so guilty and lacking in self-confidence that we find it hard to believe that God can forgive us and we end up bringing wallowing in the feeling of being unworthy. So we bring the same sin back to God again and again.
Well, guess what? We already were unworthy before we committed that sin that makes us feel so worthless now. If we pick up the pieces of our past failures again, as the little girl did, we make the work of the Cross to no effect. And then, what else is there? Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
Remember, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (I John 1:9) Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross paid the price for all of our sin–past, present and future. Once we have confessed something, it is nailed to the Cross with Christ. The stain has been removed. This does not give us leeway to continue in the sin that has been forgiven, but it does free us from the penalty we all deserve for sin already committed. Jesus said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ (Then Paul added) So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. (2 Cor. 12:9) So take your sin to the Cross and leave it there. In that way the power of Christ can work best through your weakness.