Monday, August 22, 2011

Dirty Church Words - Sin

Sin. Sinner. Words that make us feel ashamed, resentful, angry. Words that we use to accuse others. Words that describe our fallen state and position in relation to God.

We are sinners. Period. Every single one of us. We have no room to judge anyone else because we, ourselves, fall short of God's standard every day. It doesn't matter if in worldy terms one person's sin is judged to be worse than another. In the eyes of God, all of our sins are equal - from the cutting remark made to one's spouse this morning to the murders committed by someone on death row. All of us are guilty of turning away from Jesus and breaking the relationship between ourselves and God and between ourselves and those around us.

Many of us find this offensive because we believe that, overall, we are 'good' people. Well - it is okay that it is offensive. The concept of sin is supposed to be a little jarring in order for us to realize that we are not as good as we claim to be. We have to recognize that we need Jesus' help before we can ask for and accept the grace and forgiveness that is offered to us through his death on the cross.

Rather than looking at sin and forgiveness as a balance sheet, we should think about how sin affects our relationships. Sin breaks the relationship between ourselves and God. Jesus died to restore that relationship. We don't need to make a checklist everyday of the sins we've committed and the forgiveness we've asked for and received. We won't be able to keep the spreadsheet balanced. What we need to do everyday is walk with Jesus. We will step off the path, lose our way, and have to backtrack - it is inevitable - but we have to get back on the path and keep going toward Jesus. By focusing on our relationship with Christ, we will be much more likely to recognize sin when we do it and change our behavior to avoid it in the future.


Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. - Psalm 103: 1-5