I’m always the first one in the newsroom in the morning and there’s often leftover food from the night crew left out on the counter.
Normally I toss it out because it’s usually uncovered, which means bugs and mice probably crawl over it and poop on it...
Today a big white box sat on the counter, and because I’m a trained newsperson, I had to investigate. I mean, it’s my job and all.
Inside the box were the remains of a doughnut fest, several pieces of a maple-frosted cake doughnut or two and about three-quarters of a glazed cake dunking stick.
Although they were stale they didn’t look bug pooped on and, therefore, still edible.
The truth is I rarely eat doughnuts. On the perceived evil food scale of one to 10, they’re like a 9.36. I certainly wouldn’t eat one if anyone were here to witness it.
But because I was alone, I ate every leftover piece before anyone could see me — and I did it without even thinking about it.
I saw them. I ate them. I ate them all.
And then I threw away the box and went on with my business as if nothing had happened...
They tasted good going down, but now I’m starting to feel the after effects. I’m starting to feel remorse, and a kind of icky taste in my throat.
Seriously, I don’t know what got into me. (Well, doughnuts did.) One minute I was minding my own business starting my day and the next minute my hand was inside the white box, fondling stale doughnuts and shoving them in my mouth as fast as I could.
So no one would see me.
It was that quick and that insidious.
Ambushed by fried dough and sugary glaze before I knew what hit me.
OK, so eating stale doughnuts isn’t high crimes and misdemeanors. But what if I substitute eating stale doughnuts for lying or overspending or gossiping or being rude? What if it was a box of money that I helped myself to, or what if it was someone in need whom I ignored?
The point is, I’m constantly tripping over sin, stepping in it, immersing myself in it. Sometimes I think long and hard before I do it, weighing the pros and cons and measuring the consequences.
But sometimes I just do it without thinking. It’s there — I indulge.
A pastor once explained it this way: We are not sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners. It’s in our DNA. It’s who we are.
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus has removed the penalty for my sin; he suffered it for me. I also believe that he has enabled me to choose not to sin...
As a Christian I don’t have to wallow in the guilt and remorse that comes with sin...
On the contrary, “If we confess our sin, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
That’s the scandal of his grace and mercy and something many don’t understand. We sin because we’re sinners, but God forgives because he is merciful and just.
Right now I have a stomachache and I regret eating those doughnuts, but I’m also glad I did because it gave me the opportunity to think about the boundless, endless grace of the God who forgives.
If there’s an upside to sin, that’s it. God forgives. So, break out the Pepto Bismol and let’s celebrate!