This devotional dedicated to my elder sister.

When I was younger, my parents would sometimes leave the house for one reason or another (probably to get away from their crazy daughters) and leave my older sister in charge. Seven years my elder (Gosh, I love calling her my elder.), she was the dictator while they were away. She really didn’t pay too much attention to me, until I demanded it. I was very annoying.

When my plot to annoy worked, she would bite me on the arm. I began to show my parents that this behemoth was biting me, causing pain to their favorite child. In yo face, big sister! Take that! Grounded, they said? Yes! Yes! Yes! But it didn’t stop the biting. Noooooooo. The elder sister got smart. She began biting me on the head, because my hair hid the bite marks. To this very day, she will deny, deny, deny she ever bit my head. I contend it’s why I still have a tender spot on my head. It’s the nerve damage she caused with her big ol’ chompers.

We don’t like getting caught doing something wrong. We don’t particularly like the punishment that follows. But it’s sometimes not enough to stop us from returning to that same sin again. We are a stubborn people, which is why the sanctification process lasts our entire lives, and why we don’t reach glorification until we enter heaven. We can try to hide our sin all we want, and we may succeed in hiding it from some of the people around us, but we can’t hide it from God.

For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.
— Ecclesiastes 12:14

God knows everything. Modern-day surveillance is no match for God. He is the numero-uno private eye. He’s caught you before you even thought about, say, for instance, biting your little sister’s head. The good news:

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
— 1 John 1:9

This doesn’t mean we should continue to willfully sin, and it also doesn’t mean we won’t stumble again. The flesh is weak, but with Christ in us, we can overcome the temptation. Remember:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
— 1 Corinthians 10:13


Heavenly Father,

Thank you for loving us, even when we are so unworthy. Thank you for providing us with a way out when we find ourselves in places of temptation that feel so inescapable. You are our strong tower, our refuge. But for you, this world would seem so hopeless. Forgive us when are weak, and remind us that we are never alone, that you are by our side, ready to share our burdens. We need only ask.

In your mighty name, amen.