Rarely is our intent to cause harm when we sin. Selfishness and pride get the best of us and we engage in sins of immaturity. But even while there’s no evil intent in our hearts, our sin still opens the door to much hurt and harm.
Of course our motivations matter and there are those whose hearts are evil and willfully sin with malicious intent. And such evil must be confronted accordingly.
But for most of us our sins come from our immaturity. That is, we lack the maturity needed to consistently make wise choices – resisting temptations and actively pursuing the good.
Many sexual sins fall into this category. While there are those who willfully rape and abuse, most of us simply find ourselves overwhelmed with desire and we make foolish choices we soon regret.
Certainly, it’s much easier to extend grace to sins of immaturity.
We have compassion for that little kid in each of us who wants to do good but still struggles to make the right choices. He knows better. But doesn’t yet have the maturity to keep his hands out of the proverbial cookie jar.
However, this does not eliminate the harm caused by our sins. Regardless of our intent, sin brings death and destruction. It robs us of God’s best.
As such, we only add to our sin when we dismiss or minimized the damage done. I didn’t mean to. It just happened. Let’s forget it.
We must be willing to make amends even when we didn’t intend harm. This is the path of maturity.
To be sure, there’s an abundance of grace for our sins of immaturity. But this is not an excuse to remain immature.
We must ever grow in our practice of love.
Accept the unintended consequences of your past sins as you grow to make better choices.