Several moons ago, when I was a teenager, I remember being in the car with my dad. I’m almost certain he wouldn’t remember this conversation, and he probably has no idea that it made the impact on me that it did.

He asked if I knew what car insurance was. I nodded and expected some lecture on why my sister and I need to wear our seat belts…or something. He said to me, “Kristin, God’s grace is a lot like car insurance.”

Right, Dad. Like a good neighbor, God’s always there!

My dad asked me if I would intentionally wreck my car, simply because I had car insurance that would cover the damages. Of course I said no. Why would I intentionally wreck my car? My dad asked me to elaborate. Why wouldn’t I do that? If I knew my insurance would fix my car, why not wreck it?

At this point, I’m beyond confused. “Well, Dad, because if I wreck my car I could break my neck. I could die. I could hurt someone else. I could hit a family with small children in the car and they could break their necks. I could destroy public property. Intentionally wrecking my car probably means I’m breaking driving laws, and I’d probably get fined. I’d get points on my license, maybe even lose my license. To intentionally wreck, they may want me to have a 72 hour lock down in the psych-ward. Shall I go on?”

He grinned and said, “So, why then, would you intentionally sin, just because God is gracious and will forgive you?”

Ahhhhh….the light bulb clicked on in my brain. I had to think about that for a while. Over 10 years later, I’m still thinking about my Dad’s question. Why do we knowingly, deliberately sin…just because God will show us mercy?

There are no excuses, there is no justification. Stop sinning. We need to stop saying things like, “Well, we live in a sinful world” and “God’s still working on me” to excuse our sin. If you know what you’re doing is sin, you are aware of that, stop doing it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Did you catch that last part? “When you are tempted, HE WILL ALSO PROVIDE A WAY OUT SO THAT YOU CAN ENDURE IT.” When you are tempted to gossip, watch porn, cheat on your spouse, lie, steal, download pirated movies, have sex before you’re married, whatever…God will provide a way out. Maybe, your way out is you just stop talking. Maybe the way out if you shut your computer off and go to bed. Maybe your way out is you go home, read your Bible, and spend some time with the Lord. I don’t know. But God will provide a way out. God doesn’t want you to sin. He wants to help you overcome it. He wants you to live according to HIS will, not yours. And sorry, folks, His will doesn’t involve you being a slave to sin.

So, let’s wrap this up. Maybe perfection isn’t possible. We’ve all sinned. And when we did sin, that’s when we can thank God for his abundant grace and mercy. BUT, let’s not use his mercy as a free pass to keep sinning. Instead, let’s strive every single day to live as Christ lived. Let’s make a sincere effort to flee from temptation and sin no more. At the end of the day, sin hurts us, it hurts those around us, and it hurts God.