Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Reality of Sin

In general, I think that Christians, especially Christians in the Bible Belt, live in a bubble. Sure, we may work with non-Christians or know a few people who do not have a relationship with Christ, but for the most part, we don't. We go to church with people like us, we do business with people like us, and we are friends with people like us. Mostly middle-to-upper class Christians.

"I'm Catholic, but sometimes I think there's nothing else. This is it."
We know people who struggle. We struggle. We all know in our heads that we commit sins on a daily basis, but we are immune to noticing when we do because we have become so numb to the fact that even "little" sins are sin.

"I waste office supplies because I hate my boss."
We read things in the newspaper or see on the news people who have hurt others. Moms and Dads who abuse or kill their children, random murders, muggings, movie/music stars who break the law on a regular basis. It numbs us. We become like the Pharisees when we think, "Thank God I don't have anyone in my family/friendship circle who does things like that."

"I wished on a dandelion for my husband to die."
Recently, it really hit me. There are people out there who hurt. Those people that I hear about on the news and on TV are real. They are real people with real problems.

"I tell people I don't believe in God, when really I just refuse to worship a God that would let my grandfather hurt me like he did."
But we don't do anything about it. Sure, sometimes we may go on a mission trip to help out some people who have less than us, but what about sin? How can we ever confront people in their sin, lonliness, and shame, if we feel numb about our own?

"I stole Christian music"
There is a blog called PostSecret. It is actually where I found all of these quotes. The guy who created it has people send him anonymous post cards with their "secrets" written on them. He scans them in and posts them on this blog. It is where I realized that there are people out there who hurt worse than I ever have or ever will. They will not talk about their pain and sin. Maybe it's because they don't have anyone to talk to. Maybe it's because they feel they will be condemned. I don't know. But I do know that these people are not much different than me. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. That includes me. In the words of erinleonard, "I'm an ass, you're an ass....We're ALL a bunch of asses."

I wonder if any of those secrets that were sent in are from someone I know. Maybe not. But maybe, just maybe, I see someone every day who has a similar secret. Do I care enough about that person to become their friend? Do I really know the reality of my sin enough to go to that person in their pain? Christ knew. He knew it better than anyone. He took it all on himself and died for us. None of us deserved His sacrifice, but we do have to confront the reality of it. It can move you to action, or you can remain numb. What are you going to do about it?


At 6:13 PM, Blogger Holly said...

Oh my gosh! I totally agree with you! That last paragraph was so well said and evoking. I went off on a tangent on my blog recently...many of the same concerns.

Why do we look and not see? Why do we hear, but not listen? How can we bear the name of Christ when we shy away from this "discomfort" that we feel when we are around those that society has cast aside?

I'm a displaced NY in the BUCKLE of the Bible belt - and oh my gosh! I think we have all lost our minds. There are churches on every corner...there are homeless on many corners - but it is rare to see us together on the same corner.

And some people say talk is cheap, but it isn't...not with this. Talk is the point where your brain meets your mouth, and the things burried in your heart overflow your lips. You keep asking questions and talking and doing. -Peace

At 4:00 AM, Blogger Tony Arnold said...

Grace is the greatest gift ever. Why then do we have such a hard time accepting it? And then an even harder time paying it forward (sharing the Good News and Christ's love)?

Satan works on us hard to keep our brain and pain in the way. And guess what the source of the pain is too? At least that is what I think.


At 8:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just might - any of them could have been written by our neighbours. We all have secrets.

Some of the religious oriented secrets are:

"I don't want to believe in Godd anymore, but no matter how hard I try, I just can't stop"

"I had gay sex at church camp 3 times."

"I'll say I'll pray for you and then I don't."

"I miss feeling close to God."


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