I love fishing. Haven’t been in a while. But I still love fishing.
There is a peacefulness that comes from standing on the bank, shoreline or sitting in a boat and just casting, over and over again. The warm sun, the watery sounds, the fresh air. It relaxes me just to think of it.
And then there’s the excitement from “the tug.” You know it when you feel it. The fun has just begun. Depending on the fish, you may get quite a ride. Setting the hook and keeping tension right in the line is part of the fun and skills to be learned. Distinguishing between a fish, turtle or log is also part and parcel of fishing. Catching logs or seaweed isn’t fun. I know. I’ve had that happen.
But there is one type of fishing that is never good. That’s fishing for forgiven sins. Yet I do it all the time.
Why on earth do I do this? Because I don’t accept Christ’s forgiveness. Or because I feel the need to make sure I don’t commit that sin again.
So how do I recognize this type of fishing? It’s called living with regrets. Maybe bitterness. Worry. Unforgiveness.
When I ask God for forgiveness and accept Christ’s work on the cross, he casts my sins into the depths of the sea.
Micah 7:19: He will again have compassion on us;
he will tread our iniquities under foot.
You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.
He does that so they’re out of my reach. He removes my sin from me and casts them away. To the depths of the sea. But I pull out the rods and go fishing. I let the regret of what I have or haven’t done overcome me.
This is when I need a great big sign that says clearly:
YOU ARE FORGIVEN.
NO FISHING ALLOWED!
So let’s put away our spiritual poles and stop fishing for old sins. Once we’re forgiven, it’s done. Live like it.
But pull out a pole intended for real fish and enjoy some quiet time with God, thanking him for forgiveness and enjoying the beauty of the world he created. And who knows, maybe you’ll actually catch a fish or two.