We live in a world where the word sin is pretty much out the window. A lot of the time the words right and wrong are out the window too. It’s more current to talk about something been dysfunctional, or unhelpful, or destructive. To show our true disgust with someone’s behaviour, we might say that they are totally sick.
Those are good words to describe sin. Sin is dysfunctional, unhelpful, destructive and sick. It’s just that Christians also use the word sin, because sin assumes that there is a judge by whose standards we are measured.
Some religious traditions really go to town on sin. Sin is preached morning noon and night, so that from little up, people feel horrible about themselves. That’s not good! But it can be a problem to forget the word sin and just preach an “I’m OK you’re OK” gospel. Because obviously things are not OK. Things can be pretty messed up, things in our own lives, things in our world.
Sin and an awareness of sin (sinsability!), can be a very helpful clear-eyed way to view the world. The Bible has a lot to say about sin, because it has an answer to sin. The answer is that God loves us in spite of things we do. We can be forgiven, we can start trying to stop sinning. That’s the good news, the message of salvation, the message of atonement. Atonement…that was last week’s word!
This week’s prayer: Give me eyes to see the sin in my life, and the wisdom to turn to you, to save me from it. Amen.