Article by Kristin Tanner
Over the past month or so I have been reading a book entitled, “What Became of Sin,” by Karl Menninger and completing Beth Moore’s bible study, “When Godly People Do Ungodly Things.” Think God has been trying to tell me something?
What became of sin really? The word has basically slipped from our vocabulary. Except for a small group of people who have been educated in a conservative Christian school or the few people who have a pastor who actually uses the word “sin” properly, we hardly here mention of the word.
For non-Christians and sadly Christians alike, the word sin has been exchanged in our culture with words like crime, symptom, illness or disorder. All of which suggest a much different idea of sin than what I believe God intended. This course of action should not surprise us from the non-Christian perspective but from a Christian point of view should we not attempt to correct this error? Not only for our own good but for the non-Christian as well. For isn’t it sin which shows us our great need for a Savior to reconcile us, sanctify us and justify us?
So why then do we spend so much effort trying to rename it, skirt around it and ignore it? The few who dare attempt to deal with it usually do so in a ritualistic sort of way. How many times do you say in a prayer, “God, forgive me of my sins”, check it off your list of things to do and go about your day unchanged and unmoved? We are all guilty of this.
Why the “lotty dotty” attitude? I think because we Americans (Christian and non-Christian alike) are guilty of committing the first sin of humanity. The desire to be like God. Isn’t that what we all work for in this country? To be mini-gods? To have power, success, beauty and control at any cost? We will take Jesus as our Savior (b/c who really wants to go to hell right?) but make him LORD? Never! And sin, well that doesn’t fit does it? Because to admit that we sin would mean that we are mini-gods in need of a perfect big God. But then we would have to cast down our idols and rid ourselves of the fanciful notion of the American dream. The one where we control our lives and seek our happiness where we see fit. The one where we are self-sufficient, needing nothing but self. Really, in America our great sin is we have made and idol out of, dare I say…ourselves!
To prove my point, many of you are reading this with righteous indignation, “How dare she!” “I’m not that way!” “She is so off target, so negative!” I know what I say is true. I know it because it is observable in the lives around me as well as my own. Up until a couple of days ago it had been a very long time since I had expressed and experienced true sorrow over my sin. In fact in my self righteousness I would actually have to stop and think of a sin! Now, I see nothing but it in my life, built up over years of lack of humility and sorrow which leads to repentance. Woe is me!
“For godly sorry worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.” – 2 Corinthians 7:10
I dared in the words of Beth Moore to, “ask God to baptize you in a tide of sorrow over your sin. Ask Him to do it for as long as necessary until full repentance comes.”
“Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” – James 4:9-10
When is the last time you experienced Godly sorrow? Have you ever? I beg you to ask God for it, because until we recognize and experience true repentance we will not experience the true freedom offered us through the blood of Christ. We will live mediocre lives never reveling in the true joy offered us. We will seek to find our satisfaction in all but the strong arms of our God. John Piper’s words ring in my ears, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”
I implore you to feel the pain of your sin, the full extent of it. Don’t pass over it like some minor offense but recognize its magnitude on your life. Then thank God for His unending love, grace and mercy. Praise Him in the courts for His greatness! Seek to live pure and blameless lives that honor the One True Living God!
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