Swinging into week 2 of the challenge, looking now at some passages from the Old Testament that engage with that most favourite of subjects- sin.
I can almost feel your attention wavering, just as mine is- i don’t really want to write about sin, i don’t want to think about it, i don’t want to make you think about it. Why that is, i’m not sure, but its true. Maybe its because in my heart i’m a crowd-pleaser and an entertainer (i think it goes with the psych profile of being youngest sibling), and sin is not entertaining. Reading Genesis chapter 3 i keep visualising the whole thing in a slightly Simpsons-esque style- Homer eating the apple and saying ‘D’Oh!’, maybe his boss or the clown (names are eluding me right now) as the serpent… maybe they even did this in a Simpsons show and thats what i’m remembering; but the thing is, i’d rather think about a funny version of sin, than the real deal.
And the real deal is this- on a really good day, with everything in my favour, I can just about manage ‘pretty good but a long way from perfect’, and I don’t think I’m alone in that. Most of the time we even manage to lie about how imperfect we are. Or else I load myself up with guilt and burdens that somehow i’m meant to carry, and in my mind turn God into some kind of bully who wants to make me feel guilty.
The truth is a million miles away from both of those- I, along with everyone else, stuff my own life and the lives of others up, pretty much minute by minute; and yet God chooses to forgive me rather than make me sweat on the naughty step.
I’m just normal, so its not my fault…except that every decision I make is my own, so it is my fault- if i lie to avoid having to apologise or explain, then i become a person who rationalises lies as ok… and yet i hold honesty as a key characteristic of integrity.
How do i deal with the stuff i do wrong, with sin? The same way i deal with all the other rubbish- i pick it up a piece at a time, and i give it to someone who can take it away. My house is full of stuff- some great things, but also some stuff i need to throw out. Today, i’m going to try and throw out some of the spiritual garbage, and I’m going to trust God to empty the bins and not give it back to me.