But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. (1 John 2:1)

“YOU DID IT! You’re a cheater,” Kathy said, pointing an accusing finger at Jennifer.

“And a liar,” Megan said, joining in the attack.

“But I didn’t do it,” Jennifer insisted. She looked into her teacher’s eyes. She had to believe her. So much was riding on this test. Jennifer knew if she didn’t ace it, her chance of winning the scholarship to the science camp was history. And so she had studied—really hard.

The teacher turned to Kathy and Megan and asked several more questions. Suddenly their story began to unravel.

Jennifer struggled to hold back her tears as Kathy and Megan were sent to the office and the “what ifs” raced through her mind. What if Mrs. Hunter had believed them? And what if she had given in to the temptation to cheat?

Even the strongest Christians will give in to the temptation to sin when relying upon their own strength. Perhaps they believe the Evil One’s whispers that it’s really not a big deal since everyone else _______. You fill in the blank. But we can’t hide our sin from the One who sees all and knows all—the One who has every right to condemn us.

God’s Spirit provides us the escape. But if we fall into self-reliance, even then Jesus comes to our defense. His testimony on our behalf is credible and acceptable because He already paid the price for our sin.

Confess any sins, which come of self-reliance, and thank Jesus for coming to your defense.

Marlene Bagnull will celebrate fifty-two years of marriage in November with her husband, Paul. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.