In the book The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Hester Prynne is subject to wearing a scarlet A on her chest to show that, while her husband was supposedly lost at sea, she had an affair and bore a daughter. She would not tell who the father was disspite preasure from the “town fathers”. Even when the father to her child is revealed, he dies before they can move away and she wears the scarlet A until the day she dies.
We all have sins that even after being saved haunt us. Maybe it’s not an A posted across our chest, but it’s there. It lingers and we have to constantly give it to Christ. The hard part comes when others are aware of our horrible sin. It can be an excellent witnessing tool BUT it can hinder us from time to time. Is it the guilt that eats at us and makes us paranoid about our past so that it torments our future? Maybe you have no idea what I am talking about, you are blessed if you have no baggage that still finds you when you’re not looking.
For me, it’s hard to let it go when, once people find out, they act differently toward me. Again, it could be paranoia. I pray this is so. Think of what it must have been like for Hester. She wears her sin on her chest for all to see. There is no secret to who she is. The looks from the other townspeople, the mother who tells her child to stay away from her because of what she had done. Before I knew Christ, I knew the scarlet letter. Then I felt no consequence because hardly anyone knew. Once I accepted Christ, I felt as though it was somehow branded on me even though I still had told no one. It was my dirty little secret between me and God. I have told a couple of people recently and now there is no hiding it. I can identify with Mary Magdalene. A corrupt life restored by Christ. Brought back to the loving arms of my Father in Heaven. So should I care what others think? Should I care that those who know keep their distance, or keep an eye on me even if it’s in the back of their mind. My Father has saved me! It’s been YEARS and yet I can still relate to Hester. Because even now as I write, I am thinking through the people who visit this blog and even though I don’t know some of you personally, I am scared to death at the response.
But there it is, my deepest, darkest sin… and you know what? MY FATHER STILL LOVES ME! My marriage is great! I have never been more in love with Shawn than I am today. We’ve been together almost 12 years and we are closer than ever. The only part of my sin that haunts me is the part that I am dealing with right now… you.
Today I heard a sermon on adultery and idolatry being the same in God’s eyes. When we choose sin over Him, we are cheating on Him. So in reality we all deserve a scarlet letter on our chest. To hear that cut me to the heart. That sin came rushing forward and the hurt that comes with it. To think that I hurt my Father in Heaven that way tears me apart. Father, forgive me for being unfaithful to You today. Help me to walk closer to You!
“But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?’…
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, ‘If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
‘No one, sir,’ she said.
‘Then neither do I condemn you,’ Jesus declared. ‘Go now and leave your life of sin.'” John 8:1-11
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
So it is done. You now know that I am not the perfect little girl next door. Christ has transformed my life!!!! I am NEW!!! PRAISE GOD I have been “letter free” for over eight years! If He can save a sinner like me, there is nothing He can’t do! You can look down on me, my El Shaddai (The All-Sufficient God) loves me and my El Henne’eman (The Faithful God) will be there for me no matter what anyone thinks. So, in the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
“If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”