Monday, November 29, 2010
What's This About Sin?
The word "sin" has such a negative connotation to it. It brings images to mind of a naked man and woman in the Garden of Eden or images of sweaty preachers screaming about hell. Sin-- well, it's just so religious. Just as there is a God in heaven, there is a devil in hell, and I am certain that devil must giggle with glee at this religious connotation. It is this connotation that waters the word down and turns it into an act done only by Old Testament characters not by anyone in the year 2010.
I believe that sin is the word for that broken place inside every human being. It is from our broken and wounded places that we come up with some of our worst ideas. Just by being born human, we are born with the capacity for being wounded. Our potential gets trampled by other human beings, often unknowingly and unintentionally. Nonetheless, who we should and could have been (peaceful and connected with God) is altered into someone who is broken and forever seeking to mend the breaks with people and activities that will never really mend it. Sin. If you were born into a family system, whether that includes a Mom and Dad or a group home director, you have been altered from the self God created you to be. Welcome to the human race. You are now a sinner, just because you were born. Sin is not just the mean-spirited and/or selfish behaviors we may engage in. Sin is any thought or feeling that takes you away from the peace and connection you were meant to have with God. There's nothing religious about that!
Really, my entire blog is a blog about sin. It's about addictions, lusts, revenge, anxiety, depression, and conflict. But there is some good news! This blog is also about getting cleaned up from sin. I can be healed of my addictions and mood swings. I don't have to spend the rest of my life finding some great new strategy to finally gain peace (although there are many wonderful things we can do). I don't have to spend the rest of my life white-knuckling it through cravings and withdrawal (although there may be necessary periods of this as well).
There is a wonderful verse that keeps this all so simple, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 6:23, The Holy Bible, New International Version. It is through a simple and effortless faith that my wounded places are healed. This is a free gift from God, an extended hand to me and a promise to be made free from my own sin. I do nothing but just believe it.
The 12 Steps guide us through this healing. Step One: We admitted we were powerless over others, alcohol, food, narcotics, sex and love, SIN. I cannot heal myself. Step Two: We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. There is a power that can heal what I cannot. Step Three: Turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. I love the kindness and the room for error in Step Three. We've all got such clouded understandings of God. Our God view has been distorted by misguided Sunday school teachers, by negligent fathers or abusive mothers, by rule-bound and shame-based churches. I don't know that my own distorted views will ever be made clear, but I just have to believe one thing about Jesus-- I can turn my will and my life over to Him and He'll take care of this sin problem. I can believe that!
Photos above found at:
Adam and Eve