By Jon Wren
In his later years, the playwright and poet Oscar Wilde lived in Paris, France. Wilde enjoyed life in Paris with one major exception . . . the recently constructed Eiffel Tower. Wilde considered the tower an eyesore and tried to avoid it at all costs. And yet, due to the tower’s height and central location, no matter where Wilde went, the tower was always in view. This especially annoyed him at lunchtime: He would constantly find himself sitting outside and having to look at the tower while he ate.
Finally, after months of unsuccessful searching for a place he could eat lunch without having to look at the tower, he found a solution. Every day for lunch, Wilde would visit the café located in the Eiffel Tower. It was the only place in Paris he could sit down and have a spectacular view of the city without having to look at the tower!
Wilde’s dilemma is not unlike our own. We may not be obsessed with escaping a particular landmark, but we are often obsessed with avoiding, hiding from, or trying to cover up our sin and shame. We will go to great lengths to present to others the image of a perfect life, a perfect family, and even a perfect faith . . . even though the ugly reality is forever present. There is no escaping the truth that on our own we are incapable of separating ourselves from our sin.
But here’s the good news: For those of us who trust in Christ, we don’t have to avoid the evidences of our failings. Our sin, after all, has been taken away because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. And so, our sin no longer follows us, condemns us, or defines us. David said as much in Psalm 103:12: “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Think about that promise. Because of what God has done in Christ, we can leave all of our sin, shame, and failure at the foot of the cross. We don’t have to try to hide it, avoid it, or explain it away. It’s been taken away from us already, and it has been replaced by our Lord’s righteousness, faithfulness, grace, and above all else, his great love.
Jon Wren is a pastor, speaker, and author who loves history, college football, and once got a ticket for driving too slowly.