Why is it so hard to go back to church after we haven’t been for a while? Why is it so difficult to pray (unless maybe in a state of panic) when we haven’t prayed in months, maybe years? Why is it so difficult to repent and fully give our lives back to God after a time of sinning and sometimes chaos? I know it’s difficult – I’ve been there! That feeling of pride, guilt, maybe even shame is not from Jesus and prevents us from having the fullness of joy that deep down we know comes from a relationship with God. Yes, perhaps we’re feeling convicted about what we’re doing or have done but God will not make us feel guilty or shameful. He will not put our emotions or conscience in a place where we don’t feel like we can go back to Him and back to church (by the way, if your church is making you feel guilty or shameful and not teaching God’s grace…find another church). We see in Matthew 21:28-32 that Jesus’ heart is one of compassion and forgiveness. Jesus blesses and more importantly accepts us even after a time of backsliding and sin, as long as we genuinely repent and believe. In fact, Jesus implies too that the ‘fake Christians’ (in this case, the Pharisees) will enter the kingdom of heaven last – if at all! You see, Jesus doesn’t care what we’ve done. Jesus doesn’t care if we’re “tax collectors” or “prostitutes”; He sees the heart. He looks at our hearts after we’ve said “I will not” yet eventually choose to follow Him. It’s better to have been on a journey as long as the final destination is Jesus and repentance than to walk in prideful circles with a stubborn heart.
The Final Destination