Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More on the contrast between us and God - taking sin seriously.

I've been reading this book after hearing great things about it from my sister-in-law and a friend at work, not to mention watching it consistently sell at the store. I actually started it a few months ago, but got sidetracked by other issues that needed attending at the time (church stuff)...however now that much have that has settled, I was reminded of this book and have picked it up again. I'm glad I did! From what I've read and know of it so far, it really is an excellent book on pure, simple truth. The author lists hundreds of lies that women commonly believe - about God, sin, marriage, child-bearing/rearing, etc. etc. etc. - and dispels them with the Truth of God's word - not with psychobabble or feel-good talk - but the Truth. It's not always pretty, and her thoughts are not always going to be popular - but that's what I like about it. She doesn't pull any punches. So...I read from it tonight, and found some interesting thoughts that I thought tied in really well with my post from a few days ago on standing in awe of God. This is from the chapter entitled with the lie "My Sin Isn't Really That Bad", which she goes on to dispel. See if this isn't convicting:

"Those of us who have grown up in good homes or in the church and have learned how to "act right" are particularly susceptible to this deception. Some of us would never think of being a prostitute or having an abortion or living a homosexual lifestyle. We wouldn't consider using profanity or embezzling money from our employer or divorcing our mate.

"Compared to others who commit these kinds of "serious" sins, it's easy for us to feel that we aren't so bad. Our sins of wasting time, self-protection, talking too much, eating or drinking too much, a sharp tongue, a critical spirit, overspending, fear, worry, selfish motives or complaining don't seem all that major. We may not even consider them to be sins at all—preferring to think of them as weaknesses, struggles or personality traits...

"If only we could see that every single sin is a big deal, that every sin is an act of rebellion and cosmic treason, that every time we choose our way instead of God's way we are revolting against the God and King of the Universe..."

Doesn't reading this kind of reminder make grace seem all the more beautiful?! :)


At 9:23 AM, Blogger Ben J said...

I think it illustrates a great underlying point that it's not about "not doing bad" but it's about being obedient to Christ which naturally diminishes "doing bad" and increases doing good. I find all to often i get stuck in the rut of just trying not to sin which obviously we can't do...

Also (and maybe this is easier seen from the women's perspective) but whether we like it or not we all live "by comparison". When confronted with our faults we think or say "well at least i'm not ______" or "i'm not as bad as ______ because they are doing more evil than me" and we push of the inevitable fact that we sin and need to constantly be refined.

Living "by comparison" is nothing more than making an excuse for the way we are and trying to deflect our sin on to something that seems worse.

Good thoughts.

At 8:10 AM, Blogger terryd said...

Another helpful angle on sin is represented by something TM Williams emailed me the other day. I was looking for his take on a particular passage in The Great Divorce by CSL where the nature of people who choose Hell is contrasted with those who choose Heaven. He (Williams) concludes:
"All evil is a corruption of or a misuse of good. Evil is not an equal opposite to good. It is not to good as black is to white, but as rust is to metal. Everything God created and put into this world and into us is good. Satan has no creative power, meaning he cannot create an evil. All he can do is take the good God created and twist, destroy, or pervert it. As MacDonald tells Lewis on page 98, "There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him."


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