Sinners and Saints—Revisiting a Quote


Oscar-Wilde (2)
Years ago I used a quote from Oscar Wilde’s, every sinner has a future and every saint has a past. While I’ve long ago forgotten the blog post, the quote stayed with me.

I remember how my interests drove me to look into Wilde’s life. After my research, I understood how these words came from the depths of his being. Both of Wilde’s parents had been successful. But the examples his parents offered him were filled with selfishness and narcissism. Reality had little importance; perception counted for more than anything. Following their example, he learned how to deal with living a double life—one presented to the public and the other that fed his desires.

His life knew no bounds until he was arrested and went to court to save his reputation. He lost soundly and his fall was precipitous, instantaneous, and very frightening.

Wilde had become a literary success. His matchless writing ability astounded his peers. But in truth, his life was tortured. Not because his lifestyle landed him in prison, but because he sought beauty first and then morality. He hid his true identity from others so he could seek pleasure.

Wilde’s example proves my point. We all know the struggle with living for perception or living for truth. I remember clearly when I stood at the crossroad of my own Sinner or Saint lifestyle. I chose a Sinner’s life: seeking beautiful experiences and possessions. It didn’t take long, however, until I realized my life was lacking depth and a something I couldn’t describe. Nothing I set my heart on fixed what was wrong as my life circled the drain.

Then God appeared.

He loved me completely. He didn’t judge me because of my earlier choices—He already knew me. He had always known my heart. Instead, he tended my wounds. And he didn’t let me skate regarding my past choices. I still needed to deal with the consequences of my bad choices, but He was with me every step of the way.

I appreciate His love more as each day goes by. I remember my sinner days and am forever amazed how God still loves me. Every sinner has a future and every saint has a past fits us all. Don’t allow your sinner days to own you. God’s waiting for you, too.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

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