He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. (Proverbs 28:13, N.K.J.V.)
Little Billy had his hand stuck in an expensive vase. His mother tried her best to pull the hand out, but she finally had to resort to breaking the vase. Once it was broken, she saw that Billy had kept his fist balled up the whole time. When she asked him why he had done this, he answered, “Because if I had opened my hand, I would have dropped my penny.”
Many a person is right now holding on to some “penny” of sin. Even when clutching the sin begins to complicate their life, they won’t let go of the sin. Even when clutching it gets monetarily expensive, they still won’t let go. Maybe the sin is drugs. Maybe it is alcoholism. Perhaps it is adultery or pornography. Sometimes it’s greed, pride, or covetousness. The list of potential “pennies” is certainly a long one.
This isn’t just a problem for lost people, either. No, a lot of Christians are out there right now playing the role of little Billy. I don’t figure that repentance has ever made for popular preaching, but its popularity is definitely at a low ebb right now. Many preachers today major on themes such as acceptance, tolerance, mercy, patience, and love. Obviously, these are indeed thoroughly scriptural themes. However, even as we preach these themes, we must guard against allowing our message to become so “mush and gush” that we downplay repentance into oblivion. No matter what the spirit of the times happens to be, God always wants fists opened and pennies of sin dropped.
So, I ask you, what’s that in your hand right now? Is it your personal penny of sin? Well, little Billy, you’re going to have to let go of that penny (repent of it) before God will help you get your hand out of that vase in which you’re caught. You see, He’ll gladly set you free from your entrapment, but He won’t do it just so you can keep a death grip on your penny.