A Stupid Sin Indeed!

For those in the US, I hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend. This one was special with our new granddaughter. We got in lots of family time in. It has been so good to be home over such a long stretch. It is something I haven’t had the pleasure of doing for many years.

I found myself in Psalm 19 over the weekend, reading in The Message when I came across this verse:

Clean the slate, God so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
>From thinking I can take over your work…

I love the freshness of a new morning and love it most starting it with Father and a slate wiped clean by the cleansing stream of his forgiveness. I like unwrapping days like Christmas presents from a close friend, with the delight of seeing what this one will bring to pass. I am always anxious to see how he will make himself known, not only in those moments I’m surprised by joy but also in those moments where God appears in the midst of my pain and trials. It’s an amazing thing that we get to taste his mercies brand new every morning.

But what really hit me in this verse was David’s description of stupid sins, and then describes one I have known all to well in my spiritual journey—“…thinking I can take over your work.” I laughed out loud when I read it. I’ve never noticed it called a stupid sin before, but it certainly is. This sin doesn’t prey on our intentional indulgences. It preys on our forgetfulness. It makes us plunge headlong into something God has begun in our life thinking we know enough now to take it over on our own. My biggest messes have come from Wayne taking over some wonderful thing God has begun, thinking I can do God a favor by taking it on from here.

Oh, for the grace each day to recognize the difference between God’s work and mine—to simply do what he has asked me to do and watch his purpose unfold, rather than assume I know and try to do for myself that which only God can do. I think the greatest deterrent to people walking this journey is the overestimation of our own capabilities. We’re seduced by Ben Franklin’s dictum, that “God helps those who help themselves.” I’m always amazed and a bit disappointed that he lets me take over so easily. And like a young child with a new gadget he thinks he already knows how to use, I usually end up breaking it. And like a tender Father, he finds a way to mend my mess and give me a fresh start.

Father, save me today from the stupid sin of thinking I can take over your work. Let me simply live freely in you today and simply respond as you desire to that which you’ve already begun in my life.

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4 Comments
  1. Tim November 30, 2004 at 10:10 pm

    Thanks for the good reminder, Wayne. It’s so easy to think I am doing God’s work today because it was His work yesterday.

  2. J November 30, 2004 at 10:36 pm

    How true. I sometimes find myself not only taking over, but deciding who, what, where, and when. Yikes! Lord help us all with a fresh start each and every day.

  3. Tim December 1, 2004 at 1:10 am

    Thanks for the good reminder, Wayne. It’s so easy to think I am doing God’s work today because it was His work yesterday.

  4. J December 1, 2004 at 1:36 am

    How true. I sometimes find myself not only taking over, but deciding who, what, where, and when. Yikes! Lord help us all with a fresh start each and every day.

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