Sin. Such a small word. It doesn’t look evil or intimidating, yet it holds the power to destroy marriages, families, even lives! But what is sin? The dictionary defines it as an immoral act considered to be a transgression against Divine law. In other words, sin is missing the mark of how God would have us live our lives.
But, wait!! We can’t talk about this!! Sin is well, sinful! We are just supposed to talk about righteousness and holiness…none of the “bad” stuff because it doesn’t make us feel good. In her book, The Mended Heart, Suzanne Eller says, “Sin is a topic we tend to shy away from, especially when it’s our own. If someone else brings it up, we wonder if they are judging, or trying to fix us or shame us. But what if we could just be honest about it? What if we could be real about the deep roots of pain and regret that sin embeds in our hearts, and about how sin affects us and those we love?” So can I be honest? Can I be real with you, dear reader?? My goal is not to judge or shame anyone, rather to bring to light what so often gets tucked into the darkness in our lives. I lived for so long, suffering in silence, hiding away my sins, all the while feeling deep shame and embarrassment…NO MORE!
So, I’m becoming a huge fan of the name it and claim it approach to sin. I’m not talking about the school of thought that teaches that we can lay claim to anything we want in life, no I am instead referring to naming sin sin and claiming it for what it is. I mean recognizing sin in our lives, confessing it and refusing to hide it away like the dark secret so many Christians act like it is. Why is that? Why do we feel like we can’t admit we are anything other than perfect? I’ll let you in on a little secret…no one is perfect!! Did you catch that?! NO ONE!! Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;” All means all…every man, woman and child that has ever lived or ever will live has fallen short of God’s plan.
“What if we could just be honest about it? What if we could be real about the deep roots of pain and regret that sin embeds in our hearts, and about how sin affects us and those we love?” -Suzanne Eller
Jesus is the only perfect, sinless person that has ever or will ever be! Jesus called sin out where it lived and He was criticized for it…for His willingness to meet sin in battle…to get right in with people and bring the things hidden in the dark into the light. Do you know what He said to those who criticized? “When Jesus heard this, he said, ‘Healthy people don’t need a doctor-sick people do.’ Then he added, ‘Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.'” (Matt. 9:12-13) So what does that look like? How do we show mercy when dealing with sin? I think the first thing we do, the first thing I have to do, is stop placing levels on sin!! Stop falling for the some sins are “better” than others or what someone else is doing is so much worse than what I am doing mentality. That’s simply not true and it’s not Biblical in the least. Sin is sin is sin is sin is…I hope you get the point! Robert Noland, author of Do You Believe?, states in his devotional that, “Because God is holy, he has one standard, one plumb line, drawn across mankind. One sin+one time=death. That is exactly where the old adage originates, ‘The ground is level at the foot of the cross.’ No “levels” of sin exist with God. Someone can’t be “better” than someone else when all have fallen and failed. Holiness can’t allow for any sin-neither doing the wrong thing or omitting the right thing.”