Monday, February 19, 2007

More Thoughts on Sin

In the last post I wrote how God does not want us to beat ourselves up over our sin once we acknowledge and confess it. To do that is to say that Jesus's death was insuffient. But there's also another attitude that we have to avoid, and that is taking sin too lightly. I saw this even in seminary. On occasion, I hear someone say something like, "Ha, ha, so-and-so got drunk last night!" I'd say, "So what did you say to him? Did you ask him why he got drunk? Were you with him?" Person's response: "Everybody messes up; it's no big deal."
Well, yes, everybody messes up, but it's also still a big deal. If you are laugh at sin for the purpose of showing someone how stupid it is to do it, that's one thing, but you'd better be around to hold that person up too. What we should be saying is, "Hey brother/sister, what you did wasn't right, but God forgives you. Is there anything I can do to help you not do that again?" I'm such a screw-up that I have 5 personal accountability partners. I talk to at least one of them at least once a week.
Taking sin too lightly is cheap grace. It also takes away the impetus for complete repentance--to leave the sin behind. Hopefully, as we grow in Christ, repentance becomes easier and more complete because we see the foolishness and stupidity of sin compared to the power and riches of Christ and the disgustingness of our sin compared to the holiness of God. When sin becomes sick and to stupid to you, it's not that hard to walk away.
This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. A time of reflection on the sacrifice of Christ and a season of repentance. May this Lenten season inaugurate in us a season of repentance in which we fully accept the grace and mercy of God, while pursuing a passion for holiness, which will last well past Easter.

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