I have a trick question for you today, beloved.

“Who can discern unintentional sins?” Psalm 19:12 [CJB]

Unintentional sins are by definition, unintentional. We don’t realize them, we don’t know about them, we are not conscious of them, so how do we stay away from them? Tough one, isn’t it?

If the sin is obvious; like murder, adultery, theft, worshiping false gods; staying away is easy. We can see it coming, and by God’s grace, we can run. But not all sins are that easy to discern. Indeed, Jesus did set the bar when it comes to sin.

“You’re familiar with the command to the ancients, ‘Do not murder.’ I’m telling you that anyone who is so much as angry with a brother or sister is guilty of murder. Carelessly call a brother ‘idiot!’ and you just might find yourself hauled into court. Thoughtlessly yell ‘stupid!’ at a sister and you are on the brink of hellfire. The simple moral fact is that words kill.” Matthew 5:21-22 [MSG]

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:27-28

The margin for error is large when it comes to unintentional sins because they include things like anger and lust, which are emotional involuntary responses, occurring very much in the subconscious. I mean, think about it, you don’t get up in the morning and tell yourself that you will consciously go out and be angry with someone today, do you? Neither do you tell yourself in the morning that you are going to set for yourself a target of 5 people to lust after. Yet, we know unconscious sins happen, so how do we stay away from them?

Here’s the bombshell, we don’t.

Now, before you go off thinking that I am giving you an excuse to sin, let me clarify, I am not. What I am saying is, there is no need for us to be too conscious of our actions nor be too consumed with worry over the possibility that we may sin by omission, because the fact is, Jesus went to the cross because our Father

“…made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

So on the cross,

“Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy].
But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.” Isaiah 53:4-5 [AMPC]

Our redemption is complete. We have been comprehensively made right. No sin that we can ever commit, purposefully or unintentionally, can ever put us out of right standing with our Father.

But we don’t want to be committing those sins either, right? Especially since we have been forgiven, we want to try our best to live lives that are pleasing to Jesus, lives that God our Father will be proud of, right? Yes, beloved, and so we should. Yet, there is still no need for us to get worked up about unintentional sins. Here’s why.

“The revelation of God is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain
and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate
down to the nth degree.” Psalm 19:7-9 [MSG]

In our daily walk with Jesus, He gives us guidance on what we should do, where we should go and how we should act in every circumstance. And for the times when we miss His cues and were oblivious to His signs, the Holy Spirit is there to guide us and prompt us, point us in the right direction through our gut, because this is what the Holy Spirit does,

“…the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you.” John 14:26 [AMPC]

And most of the time, we get the revelation and strength to stay away from sin from the instructions given in the Bible. That is why David says,

“God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
There’s more: God’s Word warns us of danger
and directs us to hidden treasure.
Otherwise how will we find our way?
Or know when we play the fool?” Psalm 19:10-12 [MSG]
So because we have been given instruction, because we know what to do and what not to do, we know better. So how do unintentional sins enter the picture? That’s right, through our lapses of concentration.

Now, lapses of concentration, by definition, cannot be overcome by increasing concentration, else they would not be called lapses. And lapses occur because our flesh is weak. Yet, the wonderful thing about our Father is

“…He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.” Psalm 103:14

So that is why He does not hold our lapses against us. And that is why John tells us,

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” 1 John 2:1-2

And that is why instead of worrying about unintentional sins, we should instead adopt this attitude,

“Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh!
Keep me from stupid sins,
from thinking I can take over your work;
Then I can start this day sun-washed,
scrubbed clean of the grime of sin.” Psalm 19:12-13 [MSG]

Make it a point to commit the day to Him, right from the beginning. Commit your actions, your thoughts and your words to Him, knowing that

“…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

The good works are already prepared beforehand for you. So trust that He will guide you to walk in them each day, every day. And make this your prayer always,

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

For when you do, you remember what is His work and what is yours and you will let Him keep you from the unintentional, stupid sins.

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