What's Up With The S Word?

 You can shine your shoes 
 and wear a suit
 You can comb your hair and
 look quite cute
 You can hide your face
 behind a smile
 One thing you can't hide is
 when you're crippled inside
       ~John Lennon~

Can't Hide

Whether he intended it or not, when he penned Crippled Inside, John Lennon hit upon an aspect of the human condition.

We can fool each other for a time, but ultimately no one can disguise being crippled inside; any more than a disabled person can conceal their crutches or wheelchair. The magnitude of it goes far deeper than our efforts to wallpaper over a bad memory or obscure a character defect.

We are all crippled inside. To be human means to be impaired by sin, but we’d rather not talk about it in polite circles. Sin is ugly and disfiguring, and we desire to pretty ourselves up, so let’s not even discuss the S word, okay?

Sin's definition is a shifting shell game.
Sin's definition is a shifting shell game.

Can't Deal With It

The entire concept of sin is so disturbing that academia can get itself tied into analytical knots attempting to explain it away. With practiced human reasoning we engage in a shell game with the definition of sin.

We will call sin everything except sin. We train ourselves to blame sin and its consequences on everything and everyone rather than take personal responsibility for our actions, our attitudes and our spiritual condition.

We refer to sin as a bad habit while making allowances and excuses for our failings. We designate sin entertainment or recreation and then party to an early grave.

We label sin reproductive choice, which enables us to legalize on-demand infanticide. We christen sin culturally acceptable norms as we willingly become subservient slaves to the idols of consumerism, convenience and celebrity.

We dub sin a chronic social quandary and then attempt to fix it with good works or by throwing money at it. We diagnose sin a behavioral adjustment problem and convince ourselves we can rehabilitate it with therapy and psychobabble. But Lennon's conclusion was exactly right: No one can hide being crippled inside. We need supernatural help.

Can't Hear

Despite our seemingly enlightened prescriptions, the remedy for sin and its incapacitating affect on us is really quite straightforward. 

The cross that was silhouetted at Golgotha on a day that came to be known as Good Friday is the supernatural solution to sin.  Christ’s sacrificial death on that cross is our salvation, but since our arrogance knows no boundaries, we’d rather not hear about the cross either, thank you very much. 

The cross exists because of sin, but we have come to regard it as religious superstition that is far too simplistic for our age.  Philosophers endeavor to rationalize it away; theologians endlessly debate its meaning or try to reduce it to the lowest common denominator; social engineers sanitize its horror to make it palatable; politicians conveniently wrap it around themselves like a pliable cloak; false prophets twist and pervert it.

The cross proclaims God’s redemptive plan and purpose for humanity; it is the centerpiece of the gospel and at the heart of grace.  It is our Creator’s expression of everlasting love for us.  To experience his free gift of forgiveness and restoration, God requires repentance and faith.

Can't Change

It is a strange truth, but on our own we cannot get there; we can mask but we cannot change our nature.  Genuine repentance and faith means that we humbly acknowledge our sinfulness, which is not accomplished by our ability; it happens as a result of the mysterious drawing power of grace.

To define sin is not all that difficult.  Simply put, sin is all about SELF.  We elevate our wants and desires above any restrictions or boundaries.  A first-century church leader put a fine point on the matter when he wrote: “Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.”  

By that standard, who among us is without sin?  And that’s the point; we all are in desperate need of the grace of God embodied on the cross of Calvary.

Christ Can

By God’s grand design, the good news of the cross is immutable.  Nothing about the cross has ever changed.  It is considered “foolishness” to our world, but its reconciling and healing power remains undiminished “for the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” 

What’s up with the S word is this:  It is easy to see without looking too far that there is a fractured quality across the landscape of our lives.  Sin is the culprit; sin is the sledgehammer that has shattered the bones of our soul to give us an internal limp that mars our perspective and relationships.  

Only the cross of Christ can make us whole; only the cross of Christ can provide hope to broken homes populated by broken people who are crippled inside.

More by this Author

  • God's Bull's-eye
    45

    God has a mark for each of us to hit. This essay explores that from the context of Scripture. It offers much encouragement to be courageous and proceed forward in the process of discipleship.

  • Pontius Pilate: Pawn Or Gutless Wonder
    44

    This essay explores the life and motives of Pontius Pilate, who after rendering his verdict, infamously washed his hands. It's interesting and raises thought-provoking questions about the man.

  • Daring Adventure Or Nothing
    13

    Helen Keller overcame tremendous disabilities to live a life that was a daring adventure. This essay is an inspirational look at her life, and presents lessons we can learn and apply.


Comments 41 comments

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

good hub.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, dahoglund.


50 Caliber profile image

50 Caliber 7 years ago from Arizona

Good Hub, it beckons one to a self inventory. I have a sin filled past that required much prayer to find forgiveness was for the asking, but I asked over and over trying to forgive my self. It can be a hard road to travel but I still will fess up publicly to what I have done and how low I stooped. I still sin probably daily but I also pray daily still striving to one day feel whole again.

Thanks for invoking the thought.


JimLow 7 years ago

There you go Ken - absolutely true!

I laughed a little as I read because Hubs I've written on "sin" specifically have gotten the least comments and the least views! Not a popular subject but one we can't ignore.

I'm a big fan of John Lennon and cried like a baby when he was murdered. Some people only remember his "Beatles bigger than Jesus" statement but he actually reversed that later after his public apology in '66.

He said in a 1969 on the CBC - “I’m one of Christ’s biggest fans,” the Beatles’ songwriter is heard to say in a 1969 interview with Ken Seymour of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “And if I can turn the focus on the Beatles on to Christ’s message, then that’s what we’re here to do.”

John wasn't being sarcastic and actually became a Christian and is seen often in the early 70s wearing a cross necklace. Sources say however that influenced by his wife, he later turned against his faith - I hope he came back to it before he was snipered by the sick-o. The Oral Roberts Ministry received donations from Lennon and they kept letters from him in which he admitted desperately searching for peace in God.

Regardless, his song-writing was at times engenius and you can hear very deep hurt coming through in many of them.


RevLady profile image

RevLady 7 years ago from Lantana, Florida

WOW Ken, this is uncanny. I wrote an article simply entitled "The S Word" for another ezine site. That being said,

We are on the same page again. We are living in times where it is politically incorrect to be honest and call sin a sin. The word sin is intimidating and implies something grossly wrong, which our egos cannot tolerate. Thus, it is not uncommon for us to blame external causes and conditions for our troubles and sicknesses, while all the time the real trouble is sin. As you pointed out,

"We refer to sin as a bad habit while making allowances and excuses for our failings. We designate sin entertainment or recreation and then party to an early grave..."We diagnose sin a behavioral adjustment problem and convince ourselves we can rehabilitate it with therapy and psychobabble."

Jesus brought the only cure for the world’s deadly sin sickness: a gospel that brings conviction of sin, forgiveness of sin and the power to overcome sin.

Thank you for accentuating the Bottom Line: "Only the cross of Christ can make us whole; only the cross of Christ can provide hope to broken homes populated by broken people who are crippled inside."

Blessings always,


Celia Myers profile image

Celia Myers 7 years ago from Canada

Your prose are fantastic. Your hubs are well-written and a true joy to read.

I read once that the reason man is so desperate to take the credit for creation away from God, is because: if He created it, it is His, and therefore it is logical that he will have rules for it.

People want to do what they want. If it feels good do it. Since the beginning of time.

I am glad to read such an eloquent and non-apologetic stand on sin.

Thank you!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

50 Caliber - Thanks for sharing. I think forgiving ourselves is often the hardest of all things to do.

There is a one sentence prayer that I pray almost daily & sometimes multiple times during the day: "Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Jim - Good words. Thank you. As a Canadian, I just have one question, what's a Texan doing listening to the CBC? :>)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

RevLady - Thank you. Somehow I am not surprised we are on the same page. Blessings to you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Ceila - Thank you for your kind & generous words. They are very much appreciated. Peace & blessings to you.


JimLow 7 years ago

Ken - I should have mentioned that the quote I used was from transcripts of the radio program. I first heard about it on an American news network then googled it about a year ago. I didn't hear it personally - I would have only been seven years old at the time ir aired!

Here's one link that reports it>http://www.libertysflame.com/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?A...

I'm kind of in-between the first & second generation of Beatle fans. At the same time they are/were just regular guys like you and I. Their love songs were the better ones.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks for the info, Jim. I really was just teasing. I am acutally impressed that you'd heard it on the CBC


David Guion 7 years ago

Another fine article on perhaps the least acceptable subject of all. As long as the message keeps going out, someone is likely to stumble upon it, read it and take it to heart. God only knows what He can accomplish from there.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you, David. Yes, only God knows. We are required to be faithful seed sowers & leave the results in God's hands. Peace & blessings to you.


spiderpam profile image

spiderpam 7 years ago from USA

Great hub! Thank you, you got a fan today!

I found this a while ago about Mr. Lennon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJFN19Xz6gU


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

spiderpam - Thank you your comments & for the link. That is a powerful video. Blessings to you.


JimLow 7 years ago

Ken, I also think people misunderstand when others refer to Lennon, thinking we're implying he was a good man generally or a man of God. He certainly wasn't. He in fact was a very confused individual but his search for God at certain times in his life was evident. I too have always been very against his anti-God message in the Imagine song. First heard that one in about 1978 - was very disappointed even then. Evidence indicates he was lost but only God knows at this point.

I know you know these things Ken - but for the sake of those who seem to misunderstand on so many things posted or always seem to see something between-the-lines I thought I would add this.

As far as worldly entertainment, I've never known anyone Christian or otherwise that didn't involve in some and none of it glorifies God even if we're talking about sports or anything whatsoever that is not of Faith.

Thanks again.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thanks, Jim. People do misunderstand that certainly is true, but we cannot possibly know what God will use to draw someone to himself or cause them to consider spiritual matters. Our responsibility is to faithfully try to proclaim truth in ways that are relevant. And then leave the results in God's hands.


itakins profile image

itakins 7 years ago from Irl

Beautifully written article on what is ,perhaps,the most rampant illness throughout the world,and the least acknowledged.

Great hub.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

itakins - Thank you for stopping by & sharing kind & generous words. Blessings & encouragement to you.


JimLow 7 years ago

I love that other reply to you made to me Ken - so true!

If you get a chance, see my new thread at the "Religion & Beliefs - Christianity" forum. It, along with this comment are my last posts at HubPages.

God Bless You my Precious Brother!


Cosmo Freebird profile image

Cosmo Freebird 7 years ago

Thanks for standing behind the Word. It is sometimes hard to find people brave enough to spread the truth.


K Partin profile image

K Partin 7 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

Ken, great hub. Well said. Thanks K.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Cosmo Freebird - Thank you for stopping by & sharing. I greatly appreciate the encouragment.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

K Partin - Thank you very much.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago

Ken R. Abell, Wonderful hub! We should all regularly take a personal inventory in the Light of God's Word! God changest not! Yet we are "forever becoming"

As you stated: " By God’s grand design, the GOOD NEWS of the cross is immutable. Nothing about the cross has ever changed. It is considered “foolishness” to our world, but its reconciling and healing power remains undiminished “for the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” Continue to speak forth His TRUTH! "The TRUTH sets you FREE!" God is AWESOME!

Thank you for sharing, Blessings!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

DeBorrah - Thank you for stopping in & sharing good words. Blessings to you.


Tom Whitworth profile image

Tom Whitworth 7 years ago from Moundsville, WV

Good Hub Ken,

There is another S word that helps one in the repentance for their sins and that S word is surrender. We must all surrender own wills to the will of God the Father. Accept the gift of The Holy Spirit, that allows us to know Jesus is our Savior.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Amen, Tom. Thanks for stopping in & sharing. Blessings to you.


Deborah Sexton 7 years ago

God made us because he wanted to give to us. He made us to receive..from him. But we wanted to receive pleasure instead. We turned from God for the pleasures of the flesh. Not realizing to receive from God is the greatest gift.

Nice Hub


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Deborah - Thank you for stopping in & sharing good comments. You are exactly right.


KellyEngaldo 7 years ago

The love of Jesus, the simple human wisdom of this brilliant artist John Lennon touching upon the S in our human frail lives. Beautiful! 5 Stars and I am forever a fan.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Thank you so much, Kelly. Glad I stumbled on your pages this morning. Peace & blessings to you.


sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 7 years ago from India

J. Lenon has penned many nice songs though i m not much in English Music but i do like some songs of Beatles


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

sweetie1 - Thank you for stopping by & giving it a read. Yes, Lennon wrote some great songs.


Denno66 6 years ago

I'm not a religious person, but identify with the concept about which you write. Accepting the results of any transgression allows you to learn and move on. Great Hub, thank you.


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

Denno66 -Thanks for stopping in & sharing. You make a good point about accepting, learning & moving on. Peace to you.


donotfear profile image

donotfear 6 years ago from The Boondocks

Moving on can be the most difficult thing a human being can do because we tend to hold on to our transgression and continually dredge it up again. Sometimes. healing takes a short time, sometimes longer. Yes, being 'crippled inside' is much like being a warrior on the outside, a child on the inside, isn't it?


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

donotfear - Thank you for your thoughful comments. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is forgive ourselves. Peace & blessings to you.


felicitylovespari profile image

felicitylovespari 5 years ago

Wonderful hub Ken. Ramble on sir. Your messages are great. :)


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 5 years ago from ON THE ROAD Author

felicitylovespari - Thank you.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working