Monday, June 18, 2012

The Nitty-Gritty

If sin is more than an act, but a mindset, what mindset does it envelop?

A mindset that says this particular sin is acceptable, or makes excuses for, or denounces that said sin is, in fact, sinful – is in itself, sin.

Our culture and era isn’t the first to ignore or accept sin and the problems it creates.

To acknowledge sin requires acknowledging responsibility for the sin. When we call evil good – or just look the other way while sin carries on, we are saying it’s acceptable; we’re willing to live with it. When we call something acceptable while knowing God hates it, we hurt the very essence of the ties that bind us to our Creator; we grieve God Himself. The creature is then calling himself smarter than the Creator.

To acknowledge sin requires acknowledging the need for a Savior, which pride cannot stand.

To deny that certain thoughts, words or deeds are sinful, we deny the dominion of God; we lift ourselves up as equal to God, while oftentimes denying God’s very existence. An evasive tactic?

Most adults I encounter know what the Bible calls sinful. But most adults I encounter indulge in a good many of those practices anyway, willingly and openly. Whether we’re lying or gossiping or committing adultery or just plain ol’ hating on someone, we have “good reasons” for breaking God’s “code of ethics”, so we continue in our sin. Sometimes, if a sin is “big” enough or causes bad enough consequences, we find our way to repentance. But most of our sin is swept under the proverbial rug.

A huge point we’re missing when we actively pursue sinful behaviors is that God doesn’t label them sin to curtail our pleasure. Rather, they are abominations to Him because He knows their results will eventually cause us harm and pain, even destruction. He’s simply being protective of His children.

Yet we rebel.

Most of us have read a quote that says something like, Remaining in unforgiveness is like swallowing poison and expecting the person who’s wronged us to suffer from it; the point being that we choose unforgiveness despite the harm we know we’ll suffer from it, because the hurt we’re already suffering seems greater. Our own logic reigns in our hearts.

But God says, For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9 KJV)

And He tells us to, Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 KJV)

As a parent, I know that playing with fire might be exciting and exhilarating for my child, but I also know the dangers at hand that he hasn’t yet seen. Should I let him play with fire to discover for himself that it could kill him and those he loves, or at the very least hurt him or destroy cherished possessions?

Yet as adults, God does allow us to make our own decisions.

We all have to answer for ourselves, do I choose to play with fire and suffer the consequences, even though I’ve been forewarned? Or do I trust that God really does know what He’s talking about?

For me, for all of us, it’s time for an alter of repentance.

Artwork by Joseph Poma (5 years old) - sin seperates, but that one drop of Jesus' blood saves us!

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