You all know that I am terribly frugal. More than frugal, I’m cheap. I’m the queen of saying, “I could make that.” Not that I ever WILL make it, but just knowing that I COULD POSSIBLY make it if I tried really hard keeps me from buying a lot of things. So, if I buy something expensive, I can only feel good about it if I am fairly certain that I could not make it or find it cheaper anyplace else.
Today I went to a party at a sweet friend’s house and had the chance to buy some adorable kids’ clothes. I mean, these clothes are the CUTEST, totally coordinated, totally ruffled out and monogrammed, sweet and stylish and adorable things you’ve ever seen. I wanted everything in the catalog. But, as cute things generally go, they were pricey. Of course I wanted to help my friend get some cute stuff, so I chose a sweet little pair of pants for Emerald. I sat and chatted and ate coffee cake and enjoyed the company until it was time for me to go pay for my purchase. I was feeling good about it. I was at peace. I wanted those cute little pink chevron ruffled pants for the baby! She was going to look fabulous! I was determined that this was what I was going to do. I knew that this was out of step with my usual buying habits, but it was a special occasion. And everyone was shopping. And PINK CHEVRON! I mean, come on!
But, when the consultant gave me my total, I felt ill. I felt like I was making a truly bad decision, especially considering the fact that Emerald is the last person in our family who needs clothes. She’s got plenty. But, what could I do? I was in the middle of the transaction. It felt like the point of no return. So, I wrote the check. And the knot in the pit of my stomach grew. And I smiled and thanked the gracious hostess and I said my goodbyes.
But, in the car, I fell into the throes of serious regret. Remorse. Wishing I had done things differently. Have you ever been there?
I have. It was a familiar feeling. I feel almost exactly the same way after I’ve sinned. Generally when I sin, I feel okay about it at first. I justify it in my mind, just like I justified the pink chevron pants. I tell myself that it’ll be fine, that even if it’s not in my usual character, it’s not such a big deal. But, once I do it, I immediately feel wrong about it. I get that knot in my stomach. I get that terrible feeling of regret in my spirit. And, when it comes to sin, we’re talking about way more than just a bank account. We’re talking about disobeying the God of the Universe. It means that that One who gave me everything I have, have had, or ever will have has given me some simple instructions that I have failed to follow. It means that I have harmed my relationship with him and my witness to others. It means that I had the opportunity to get God’s best, for free, and I chose to pay dearly for the world’s worst. It always hurts, always confuses, always upsets. And I do this regularly.
Today after the party, I texted my sweet and understanding friend and asked her to please cancel my order. She did, immediately, and without making me feel bad or guilty. She just said ok, and then she comforted me by assuring me that she didn’t mind at all. Friends are the best, aren’t they? After I did that, I felt so much better! My bad decision was instantly erased, and I could let go of that knot in the pit of my stomach.
Thankfully, God operates just like a sweet friend. He cancels out my sin. He comforts me. And He guides me to avoid sin in the future. Not only that, but He lends me the strength that I need to avoid future missteps. Isn’t God great?
By the way, there would have been nothing wrong at all with my buying those pink chevron pants today. They were adorable. Emerald would’ve looked really cute in them. I’m just thankful for kind, sympathetic friends who can deal with my quirks.
And for a God who can deal with my sin.
These are just some of the blessings in my life.