Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What is sin?

This is the topic for my Ladies Bible Study this week. Sin. Just a topic for God to flesh out in each of our lives however He wills, and for us to come and discuss it. Sin. Ugly word, uglier consequences. And we all do it. Whether we admit it or not.

I had planned to start my journey of reflection this week just thinking about what sin is and how it affects the world, and later distilling it more into how it affects me. A macro- approach to sin is so much easier than personalising it. But then, I sat in church on Sunday and the worship songs were all hitting home. Tears were streaming down my face. The awesomeness of what Jesus did for me in my sinful state overwhelmed me. As we sang
WHEN I WAS LOST, You came and rescued me;
Reached down into the pit and lifted me.
O Lord, such love,
I was as far from You as I could be.
You know all the things I've ever done,
But Jesus’ blood has cancelled every one.
O Lord, such grace
To qualify me as Your own.

There is a new song in my mouth,
There is a deep cry in my heart,
A hymn of praise to Almighty God - hallelujah!
And now I stand firm on this Rock,
My life is hidden now with Christ in God.
The old has gone and the new has come - hallelujah!
Your love has lifted me.

lyrics by Kate and Miles Simmonds

I was overwhelmed. I was as far from Him as I could be. And somedays I still am. That is the essence of sin--it took me as far from Christ as I could be but His sacrifice brought me back. And now on the days (who am I kidding everyday) when sin drives a chasm between me and God the sacrifice is there to keep me within His grasp. The chasm disappears with confession and repentence. Amazing. Amazing grace. And it is for me.

So I'm on a micro-level looking at sin this week. What are the daily sins that are driving that chasm between me and God? I can rattle some of them off easily--not taking care of His temple by eating the wrong foods, idolotry as I put my pride ahead of meeting needs, being easily angered when the girls aren't following my prescribed path (so glad that my heavenly Father is more patient than I am as an earthly mother), not honoring my parents by calling more often, not respecting and loving my husband as a representative of Christ in this family, procrastination on important matters, etc etc etc. I know where I consistently fall on my face. Where I fall short of God's mark (Romans 3:23). But why do I keep going back to the same sins? In a nutshell, because I rarely call them sin. I call them short-comings. I call them mistakes. I call them lack of discipline. I call them habits. But I don't call them sin. And so I don't treat them as deadly to my life as the things I call sin. I would not allow a murderer to live in my house, but I allow myself to be angry and to say hurtful things that in effect murder my children's self-esteem. I would not have a golden idol in my home, but I put myself on throne more times than I want to admit in a day. I am convicted that I must call sin, sin. And I must eliminate it from my life. The habitual things that separate me from God must go. And I've just taken that first step--admitting I have a sin problem. Please pray with me as I seek to be faithful to God and allow Him to remove those things from my life.

It is interesting as I have been writing this entry this week a discussion has been taking place over at GB's site Restoring the Years. A post on a blog we both read described a failing. GB responded to her. But the writer of the first blog wanted grace and compassion, not conviction. She did not see the failing as sin. So GB writes about calling sin, sin. She was writing out of her experience in a situation. But she was writing a divine reiteration to me. Call sin, sin. And in my life I am going to do just that. I'm tired of living in the mire and want to live more victoriously. Hallelujah, He has already given me the new song. Now I want to sing it.


Margaret said...

If we call those sins SINS and not gloss over them, then it makes that Amazing Grace flow in oh so easier and more abundantly, doesn't it?

Ame said...

ouch ;)