“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
Sometimes, in an attempt to make amends to the Lord for our short comings, we try to do more than what we have been called to do, we try to shine brighter than what we were created to be. Many times, the inverse of what we intended for good becomes detrimental to our walk, and the path we have been set upon starts to become close to the edge of the sin of pride.
Any man that has been called to start a church will speak the truths of these words to you, anyone who is already employed in a number of activities within a congregation that sees a need will reveal the same. We spread ourselves too thin and our light begins to dim.
“Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.” (Psalm 71:9)
Those who have the gray hairs of righteousness will tell you the same, but in a different vein, what they once could do for the glory of God is no longer physically possible for them, and many times instead of listening to the Holy Spirit as to where they should now place their feet on the path, they will attempt on their own accord to make amends for their current inabilities in various ways that are in essence, though with honorable intent, towards what they believe to be correct, but are instead meant to make them feel they are useful.
Once again, pride will knock on the door, and they will answer.
You must remember the light within you is not of you, but shines through you, by the will of the Lord, but also only when your free will allows it to.
The Romanist have invented the sin of penance, their own interpretation of bringing a sacrifice to the altar when one has sinned, and it has worked extremely well for them, for man, when sin enters into his heart, even when it is in the heart of the wicked, feels a need to make amends, to set right that which was wrong, to do a good deed to offset the wrong, to speak kind words after cross words have passed through their lips.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1st John 1:9)
My friends, the truth of this verse is sadly rarely enough for most people. A deed done in hopes of weighing the balance of favor back to their side is necessary in their minds; they feel a need to make amends.
“Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” (Matt. 18:15)
“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6:15)
These verses and others will be used by many in an attempt to validate the necessity of “setting it right,” and when it comes to a sin or fault we have with another they should be diligently adhered to, but not with the Living God.
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Heb. 13:15)
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)
Not doing a good deed in an attempt to appease the Lord, not a special prayer said many times over, not extra work done for the church, but a heart of sadness brought to the throne of grace. The Living God will accept no less of a sacrifice, anything beyond that will be shunned.
The full price was already paid by the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross, His shed blood covered every sin ever committed by mankind, you can bring no offering that the Most High will accept, save for that broken and contrite heart. It is the one action of amends that brings joy to His.