Thursday, August 14, 2008

I'm Forgiven, Does That Mean I'm Exempt?

A lot of people seem to think that once we've dedicated our lives to the Lord and started to follow Christ that all is forgiven and the past is magically erased and we are excused from everything we did in our past lives and it's repercussions. It's true that God forgives us and casts our sins into the sea never to bring them up again. However, we still must face the consequences for our actions.

Yesterday my husband and I were sitting in the living room watching TV. We were babysitting for a close friend of ours . Our friend is a Christian and attends church on the regular basis. She brings her son with her during the weekday services as well. Anyway, out of nowhere the child knelt down and began to imitate Muslim prayer. Immediately, we stopped him and told him not to do that knowing that his mother was raising him as a Christian. I thought about it later and questioned whether or not we were out of place for stopping the boy (age 5) from praying but that's another post for another time.

I called his mother and told her what happened and how we responded. She thanked us for stopping him and told us that her ex husband is a Muslim. Since the divorce they had been both trying to teach their son to worship God. The only problem was that our friend serves Jesus Christ, the true and living God. Her ex husband is not a believer.

Later on that evening when our friend came to pick her son up, she explained that she had always been a Christian and was warned many times that she shouldn't marry a man of a different faith because it would cause problems down the line when trying to raise their children. She decided to marry the man regardless of what the bible said, God said, her pastor said and everyone else that cared for her said. Now she has to fight daily to teach her son the truth when he is constantly subjected to Muslim worship when he goes to visit his father on the weekend. Our friend is no longer married to her husband and is forgiven by the Lord for making this ungodly decision and union but she still has to carry this cross of fighting for her son's soul salvation. Not to mention the father has weekend visitation so the boy isn't able to go to Sunday service.

Our friend has remarried since her divorce and had two other children who are being raised in the admiration of the Lord. Her new husband is afraid that her son will be a negative influence on the other children and is very adamant about his wife telling her ex husband to stop teaching the boy his religious beliefs. (This is another post for another time) But the mother really cannot expect to infringe upon someone else's religious beliefs and rights with their child.

This story is just one illustration of how our forgiveness doesn't equal exemption. Are you (or anyone you know) still paying for some sin you've committed from your past that seems to be a huge thorn in your flesh that won't go away? If so, how are you handling it and what advice would you offer others with the same battle?

(By the way, my friend has given me permission to post this story.)

Shanita Waters
Author of By His Stripes We Are Healed
visit my site www.waterplantgrowth.comNow offering typist/transcription services

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