One of the best lines I have ever heard is "it's easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."
This statement was in regards to making a decision that the person knew would upset some people. While the decision wasn't sinful, and the comment wasn't made as an excuse to sin, I think that statement does hold up for many of us when it does come to sinful actions.
It is so much easier to just as for forgiveness after being sinful than to turn to God's Word and prayer to keep us from sinning in the first place. We're only human. We're sinful creatures. We're always going to screw up.... so we might as well do so.
A good (and probably most common) example of something many of us have done (especially as teens/young adults) is in regards to sex. A couple knows they are not supposed to have sex when they aren't married (or, when they are, but not to each other). But well, that lust thing can be strong, and we're only human, and God is going to forgive us anyway...
That, of course, is not the only example. We know we shouldn't slander or gossip. We know we shouldn't steal. We know we shouldn't ignore those in need. We know we should go to church. We know the ten commandments. But well... sometimes other things just seem a little more fun. And we're only human. And we are forgiven. We have the Grace of God.
Today's Lenten sacrifice:
Stop giving excuses - especially the one that "we're only human, and we're forgiven."
This doesn't mean we'll stop sinning. It doesn't mean we won't still falter. I mean, honestly, we are only human. But that doesn't mean we use that as an excuse to purposefully sin.
Grace isn't an excuse to stay in our sin - it's the power to bring us out of it.
May the grace of God give us the strength to turn to his Word and to him in prayer instead of using his forgiveness as an excuse to continue in our sin.