PROVIDENCE, R.I. (July 19) - Two weeks after Joshua Lipton was charged in a drunken driving crash that seriously injured a woman, the 20-year-old college junior attended a Halloween party dressed as a prisoner. Pictures from the party showed him in a black-and-white striped shirt and an orange jumpsuit labeled "Jail Bird."
In the age of the Internet, it might not be hard to guess what happened to those pictures: Someone posted them on the social networking site Facebook. And that offered remarkable evidence for Jay Sullivan, the prosecutor handling Lipton's drunken-driving case.
Sullivan used the pictures to paint Lipton as an unrepentant partier who lived it up while his victim recovered in the hospital. A judge agreed, calling the pictures depraved when sentencing Lipton to two years in prison.
That news story brought a Bible verse I had memorized as a child rushing back to my mind: "You can be sure your sin will find you out." Numbers 32:23 Memorizing that verse was intended to help us remember that an all-seeing, all-knowing God is aware of the things we do--even the things we are sure we "got away with." Getting away with sin is actually an impossibility. Though it may seem for the moment that we have lucked out, and our unrepentant hearts even may find a way to trivialize and laugh at our sin, God's social network is WWWAAAAAYYYY bigger than the Internet. Our unconfessed, unrepented sins will catch up with us some way, some day.
For Joshua Lipton and for you and me, the answer is not to hide, trivialize, minimize, or rationalize our sin. The only smart thing to do is to follow the advice of Solomon, the wise man who wrote , "He who conceals his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13 The ONLY thing to do with our sins is to own up to them, ask forgiveness, and DROP THEM.