Sometimes enormous things come in tiny packages - like atoms. And here's a "tiny" little truth that has turned out to be one of the single-most important discoveries of my walk with Jesus thus far...
All sins are directed toward God. Great or small, He is the target of each and every one.
We may think that we are striking out at another person with our reactions to a grievous wrong (in either revenge or retaliation); that "responding in kind" because someone injured us is somehow justifiable or "poetic justice". We may even think that we're hurting nobody but ourselves through a wicked or careless act of rebellion. But neither of these scenarios are true.
The Bible bears this out over and over again, and here's just one quick example:
A king steals Sarah from Abraham and takes her for his own. God confronts that king in his sleep, telling the man that the woman he took is married - and that he's as good as dead. The man honestly appeals to Abba that he had no idea the woman was Abraham's wife. God responds to the king by saying that it was for this reason alone that He kept the King from "sinning against ME". It wasn't a typo - Moses didn't transcribe it wrong. The king had not been stopped in his tracks to keep him from sinning against Abraham, even though it was Abraham's wife who had been taken. The king had been stopped to keep him from sinning against God Himself.
It is for this reason that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins - and He never once gave the slightest consideration to the silly notion that the sins He was forgiving had "nothing to do with him personally". This was yet another proof of His Deity even in the days of His flesh - for He regularly forgave sins that had (in the world's eyes) been done in other places and between other people.
His authority to forgive people of sins clearly conveyed that He was (and remains) the principle victim of those sins - more-so than the people at whom the sins had been directed in the flesh. All sins are against Him - a slap in the face of The Great Creator.
So the next time someone wrongs you and "the natural reaction" would be something you know would likely be sinful...
Selah... Pause and reflect...
You just got hurt - but did Jesus do that to you? Would He (in a million years) have treated you with contempt or injured you in any way? When the only logical answer returns - that NO, our Lord does not treat people that way and was in no way culpable in the sin that just ripped your heart to shreds... then ask yourself honestly; why would you hurt Him for something someone else did? Is that just? Is that right?
Every sin I committed in my life was done because I failed to realize this seminal truth. I thought God to be above the impact of sin - not personally affected by it in any way. When someone injured me, and in my weakness I acted out - the one I actually hurt by my actions was the One who has done nothing but faithfully love me since the moment I first drew breath.
Realizing this changed me forever. He didn't deserve that - and doesn't deserve that - from any of us. From that moment on, I determined myself to never willfully sin against my Heavenly Father again.
We instinctively know that it is a great wrong to "kick the dog" because of the wrongs in our life. Something so innocent could never be at fault for our hurts, and the poor animal should never be assaulted as though it is somehow responsible. If we would carefully consider a dog in this manner, how much more-so should we consider our treatment of God? Should we (even we who claim to love Him) kick the One who gives us breath - the One who cares for us each day - either because of the actions of others or the circumstances of our life? He is more innocent than your dog, I assure you.
Your brother and servant in Christ Jesus our Lord,
Mark Scott Grimmett