This week, if you’ve stuck with me, you know I’ve been writing a lot about sin. (If you care to catch up, I’ll include links at the bottom of this post.)
I don’t mean to be a Davey Downer (male counterpart to Debbie Downer). What I’m hoping all of this sin talk does is — as it did for me — help you realize there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with you (I mean, besides you’re terribly flawed, but it would be weird if you weren’t) and that you and your neighbors are in this struggle together.
[Seriously, though… If you're enjoying this morbid ride on the sin train, you have to read check out the video below with theologian Simeon Zahl — it changed my world and has inspired much of what I’ve been writing about this week…]
Anyhow, yes, it’s true. Sin is a thing. We all have it. Hopefully, if you haven’t noticed already, you’re starting to see this.
That being said, I don’t want to come off like I’m glorifying sin. I’m not fatalistic about this at all. I’m not saying you should go out and sin as much as possible because you’re always going to be a sinner, so you might as well live it up and rape and steal and murder and whatnot.
There’s the condition — the propensity to sin — that we carry around inside of us that will likely always be there. But then, on the other hand, we have the things we do. The acts we carry out in the world. These are the individual sins that we perform because of our unchecked, unhealed, unnoticed, and unforgiven propensities as sinners.
So, this is where I’ll throw in the disclaimer…
Please, try not to sin.
But that’s just ridiculous because, the thing is, I don’t even need to say it. You already know this (if even at a level deeeeep down somewhere).
Acting on our sinful nature sucks. It hurts us worse than those we sin against, at least in the long run (yes, even if we murder them and never get caught). No, I’m not saying there’s some pitchfork-wielding dude in a red jumpsuit waiting to torture you for eternity. I’m talking about how our interiors eat at themselves when we sin.
But here’s the good news…
Sin never has the last word. There is always resurrection on the other side.
This goes for those on either side of the sin. When sin happens, yes, it’s a wretched thing. But there’s always new life on the other side. Maybe not right away, but it’s there.
What I’m hoping all of this sin talk does is to help you realize that you and your neighbors are in this struggle together in order to lessen your blind spots. Maybe you’ll think twice before fruitlessly keeping score against yourself and others (seriously, it does no good).
I won’t move totally into forgiveness at this point (we’ve gone deep already this week), but here’s the rub…
Forgiveness is the human antidote to sin.
It’s all we have. It’s all we can do. The rest has been taken care of. God’s source code is grace. There is nothing being held against you or anyone else by any divine force (I mean, that guy you swindled last week might be hiding behind the bushes with a baseball bat and a blowtorch, but that’s a human thing, not a God thing).
All that said, go in truth, sinner. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to your neighbor. Forgive as you’ve never forgiven before. And let grace lead the way.
Previous posts in the week about sin…
- On the softening of the heart and the gift of grace
- Oh, how we turn in on ourselves
- We’re all sinners (and we’re all saints)
- Embrace the sinner