Sin is a word we barely mention. It rarely crosses our path. We much rather use the words of Hillary Clinton, “I made a mistake” than admit we committed this ferocious three-letter-word. Somehow it sounds so much tolerable to call it an oversight. A slip. Or a blunder.
We have many names for a sin, but God manages to see right through our plight.
Sin gets in the way and mucks up our lives. We yell at our kids. Get frustrated with our spouse. Grumble about our circumstances. And the list goes on and on. Like the Apostle Paul, we say, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (Romans 7:15).
Here lies our predicament. We are messy people living in a messed up world. It’s broken and we certainly cannot make sense of it all. We all have issues. Big issues. And in all honesty, we try to cover them up with sugar and spice and everything nice. Much like our ancestors Adam and Eve, we try to hide our sin behind fig leaves, which are too small and highly insufficient.
But we fall for the lie and continually attempt to do things on our own. Make no mistake, sin is always enticing. It makes big claims that life can be better. The grass is greener on the other side. The peace, happiness, and contentment that you so long for are right behind the next door. Our flesh is all about striving. It shouts the mantra, “Just do it and do it more.”
We are wired to try harder. Accomplishing the impossible makes us feel good. We like the feeling of being in control. We like marking things off of our “to-do” lists. However, an unsafe and unsettling dissonance occurs when we do not hit the mark. When we do not measure up. When we do not do what we want to do.
When we fail, what then?
One of two things typically happens. We give ourselves a pep talk exhorting that our sin is no big deal. Everyone else is doing it. Go ahead and brush it under the rug and move on. Or, we give up. We determine the fight against our flesh is too hard. We’re a hopeless case. Rather than exposing ourselves for who we really are, we live a superficial life. Hiding and disguising. Living in fear that someone may uncover our faults and leave our hearts opened too wide.
Shame becomes our shadow. On our own, we struggle to reconcile our wounds and emotions. We resort to either flat-out rebellion or sugarcoated self-righteousness. In the end, both lead to death. Both tactics will fail.
There is a better way. There is another option. What if we allowed our sin and shame to drive us to the feet of Jesus? What if we willingly sat at His feet in order to learn from Him? What if we confessed that we are imperfect and need a Savior? What if we confronted our wrong thinking with God’s truth?
I wonder what would happen then.