Tag Archives: sin

Sins and sinsability

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.

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It’s not all about me

These past weeks we’ve thought about the journeys we are on with forgiving others. We’ve used the story of Joseph as a mirror to help us. We talked about the influence of Joseph’s Uncle Esau on his life. As a young boy Joseph witnessed his Uncle Esau falling on Jacob’s shoulders and forgiving him. It undoubtedly left an indelible impression.

Then I think about my own forgiveness journeys. Lots of times I just get tired, “I can’t think about this anymore.” Or I give up, “This will never get resolved.” Or I like to hold onto a hidden little bundle of revenge, because I still feel hurt. It seems all in my court…will I offer forgiveness or not? And the implications are clear…this relationship will either continue for me, or it will end. It seems pretty cut and dried.

But I look at Esau’s decision to forgive…he probably had no idea that what he was doing might be setting the stage for what happens in the next generation of the family. Maybe what I need to ask is not so much, “Do I want to forgive?” as “Is this the legacy I want to give to the next generation?” That next generation might be your own children, your nieces or nephews, your grandchildren, or children in the church who watch a  conflict unfold. Will you leave blessings or curses behind you?

Prayer for today: Open my eyes to see the power of sin in my life. Open my eyes to see the power of forgiveness you offer. Help me choose to pass on blessings not curses.

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