Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in prison for evading bank rules in order to hide his sexual abuse of high school students decades ago. Mr. Hastert is now 74-years-old.
How sad to be imprisoned to your past. How soul-wrenching to be alone with yourself, tortured knowing your sin might be exposed. What’s your way forward? To work secret deals? To carry on the charade you’ve nothing to hide? How many people live in fear of something in their past, our past, being known?
That’s God working on you, what theologians call His “alien” work. “Alien” because it’s not the heavenly Father’s heart for you. His heart is that you come to know His forgiveness in Jesus, but to lead you to Jesus God crushes us, puts us in the prison of our guilt. That’s true whether you’ve committed a crime or not; we’re all sinners. “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:24-25).
Professor Robert Weise points out what happens when you take the letters “I” and “N” out of “godliness.” You’re left with “godless.” “IN” makes all the difference. “If anyone is IN Christ, he is a new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Living each day IN the love and forgiveness of Christ means “agree with your adversary quickly… lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison” (Matthew 5:25, NKJV).