Nothing can make a person more uncomfortable than a certain 3 letter word beginning with an ‘S’.
People seem to have very personal opinions about the subject, and seems to be a general area of extreme ‘right and wrong’, but also a large grey area where you are encouraged to ‘go on your own convictions’.
However, sin is something the Bible takes very seriously, and encourages us to as well.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength … And love your neighbour as yourself.” Luke 10:28
There we have it. The most important commandment … LOVE … and exactly in that order: God, neighbour, and then self. Jesus sums up the law in one sentence, and made it look so easy (until the crucifixion, that is).
When i think of sin, though, I think of the ‘WORSE’ sins like murder, theft, adultery, etc… and then i’m tempted to look at my life and think “Hey i’m not that bad, i never do any of those! GO ME! Heaven, here I come!”
Even now, as i was typing that sentence, i remembered just yesterday, when i called someone a @*$#-head for pushing his big fat 4×4 in front of me in traffic. Nice Jolene! Keeping it classy.
Truth is though, anything that’s not done/said/thought in love is a sin, because it’s doing the exact opposite of what Christ did, making us less like Him instead of more like Him. It forces the Holy Spirit to stop working, and take a back seat, to separate from us while we indulge in the flesh for however long, before we hopefully pull ourselves together, repent and move forward.
These words ‘sin’ and ‘repent’ cause quite a reaction because when we hear them we think of the WORST scenarios, like i mentioned before… But when we think about sin in terms of ‘anything that’s opposite to loving God, our neighbour or ourselves’ it looks rather different, and we see that all sins are the same for that reason. We, the sinners, have to deal with the severity of the outcome and repercussions of consequences. We have to go through the forgiveness and lengthly healing processes, But God sees them all the same because neither are acts of love, and when we realise that, it makes it harder for us to judge.
In the same way, when we don’t see repentance as God pointing His finger at us from up above and sending earthquakes while we shiver and shake with guilt and shame, we see it for what it really is … recognising that what we did/said/thought is not in line with loving God, or our neighbour, or ourselves … and then the act of repentance is less intimidating.
God doesn’t punish us or begrudge us, He’s not happy to see us suffer and hurt because of our mistakes. Instead, He makes sure that through Christ, nothing we ever do or say can stand between us and Him, so that we can be in relationship with Him. That’s all He wanted from the beginning and that’s all He wants now and, in that, all our guilt, shame, condemnation and hurt can be removed from us. ‘As far as the East is from the West’.
So that we can be restored, healed and whole…. aaaaaahhhhh! Thank you God 🙂
2 Corinthians 5:17 (MSG)
16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.