Happy Monday! I know my title may keep some of you from reading on. Those that are hanging in there with me, thank you. I don’t think you will be disappointed. First off, I apologize for no blog last week. It was my birthday and I taught 5 classes last week so it was busy. That said, let’s move onto the topic God placed on my heart.
All have sinned – Romans 3:23a, NIV
When my daughter was in Awana (a Bible program for kids), they memorized verses. This verse “all have sinned” was set to a song to help them learn it. The only words were “all have sinned.” She was very little at the time – like 3 or 4 years old. One day, my dad asked her what she was learning. She sang to him “all have sinned.” He was shocked at the boldness of her song. A memorable moment for sure. However, it’s true. All of us have sinned.
What is sin? Sin is actually a term in archery. The sin mark is how far away from the target your arrow hit. Sin means, you missed the target. What is our target? Not to sin, a.k.a not disobey God. Whether you are a following of God or not, sin separates you from Him. As a believer, when you accept Jesus, God’s son, as your Savior and ask Him to guide you life, you receive forgiveness for sin and a pathway back to God. I love the image below to show us how to bridge the chasm.
Now that we have established we all have sinned, what is “acceptable” sin? “Acceptable” sin – according to my pastor – are the “little” sins we rationalize. Those little things you do every day and think nothing of. A white lie. Speeding (guilty). Not claiming all income on your taxes. And so on.
One of the ways we find peace to commit these “acceptable” sins is by calling a friend who will know will side with us. I intentionally call certain people for accountability and others for permission. You know what I mean. I know you do. Let yourself go there. It’s tough but it will root out another level of disconnect with God in your life.
I am struggling with a decision that I know is unethical (that’s another thing we do, we don’t call it sin we call it unethical or justified.) It’s a sin if I do this behavior. I know it. I still want to do it. I want someone to give me permission to do it. I know who I can call and plead my case and scream it’s justice and they will side with me. I know who I can call who will tell me that regardless of what others have done, wrong is still wrong. I haven’t let it go and it keeps coming back to me. Reality – it is sin. I don’t want to do it and don’t plan to do it. However, I do want to do it and I have to keep connecting to God to not do it. Friends, the struggle is real. Paul addresses this very thing in Romans 7.
14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! ~ Romans 7:14-25 NIV
Whether you have been a Christian for your lifetime, are a new believer, or not yet a believer, choosing to obey God’s Word – all of it – is a lifetime struggle. We can’t change the Bible to fit our needs or our culture’s beliefs. The Bible is God’s Word and it’s perfect. So, I encourage you to look at the “acceptable” sins in your life and stop them. I also encourage you to look at those friends who support those “acceptable” sins. Don’t stop interacting with them, instead, join into some accountability with one another. Challenge each other to grow rather than support each other’s weaknesses. Deepen your friendship. Deepen your relationship with God.
Dream Big! Pray Big!