Eric was standing outside of the courthouse this morning very well dressed. It was cold this morning so his long black dress coat was an appropriate choice. Eric told me that he attends church regularly, but had recently committed a crime that was out of character. His 9 a.m. court appearance made me wonder what he had done but Eric was not willing to be too specific. He bragged how he eats right, exercises, and works hard but for some reason he did the "wrong thing." He rarely looked at me and instead chose to stare at the courthouse as he mumbled, "I just need to forgive myself." That was exactly what I needed to hear as I prayed for the right words. "Eric, there is your problem. You believe your sin is horizontal" I replied. "The Bible says that your sin is against God. Your sin is vertical." Eric looked at his sin as if it was a moral failure, a bad habit that needed to be overcome. I walked Eric through the Ten Commandments where he reluctantly confessed he has failed to meet God's standard of holiness, and then I pleaded with him to cry out to his Maker for mercy. Eric didn't need to forgive himself, he needs Jesus. In Christ there is therefore no condemnation.
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