The Grace to Move On
The world finds the idea of sin to be silly since, after all, we are all
but mere humans with desires and tendencies that should be met. Some
go so far as to boast about or laugh about their sinful human
behaviors. They have no clue as to the serious consequences of their
sins. (Pr. 14:9)
And then there are those that are saved and understand the implications of a sinful life, yet they too, make light of their sins. They find themselves caught up in the fleshful satisfactions of lust or coveting or simply involved with the latest gabfest concerning ‘sister Mary’ or ‘brother Joe’ . Or find themselves unable to resist a temptation, therefore presenting a good argument to counter the conviction of the Holy spirit and then later thinking, ‘well at least I did not murder someone’. They know better, but they just cannot see themselves as having committed a great sin. Just a little one. (Luke 17:3-4)
And then there are those that take sin very seriously, yet do not understand that grace does indeed abound much more than sin. They are called ‘legalist’ and they address sin by imposing punishment, shame, guilt and impossible demands on themselves or the one who sinned. (Luke 5:21) God hates sin, but not because he hates people who sin, rather he hates what sin does to people.
So, which is it? Is sin serious business or not? Do we allow ourselves the luxury of thinking, ‘it isn’t that bad’ or should we find ourselves bogged down with shame, guilt and condemnation?
The Bible does not treat sin lightly. But the Bible does go to great lengths to explain to us that ‘grace’ and ‘mercy’ are the accolades of knowing God as Father and Jesus Christ as Savior and the Holy Spirit as our comforter. (Rom. 5:20)
First, let us establish that with God, sin is sin. (James 2:10) Murder is not a heavier sin than lying. Adultery is not a more revolting sin than fornication. Coveting covers a myriad of sins, if left unchecked. Coveting can lead to lying, murder, adultery, fornication, stealing, etc. We are trained by this world to think and believe that there are degrees with sin and that there are sins that have greater or lesser penalties, depending upon the crime. But in the end it is God who judges and He will judge sin as sin. And if there is no separation of the sinner and the sin when the time comes, the sinner will suffer for the sin when the sin is dealt with by God. Unless there is first, a separation of the sin from the sinner. Then God will judge the sin, and not the one who sinned because Jesus has separated them from their sin, and the sin and the sinner are no longer one and the same.
Sin is serious business to God. (Rom. 6:23) And even when we do come to terms with the fact that we are sinners and need a Savior, we are not to take sin lightly. So how do we see sin? Just as God sees it. It must be dealt with immediately and with conscious abandonment. It must be confessed to God and repented of. (Rom. 14:11-12 & Ps. 103:12) Why? Because sin can desensitize our minds, confuse and darken our hearts, and sin will only lead to more sin if left unchecked or not dealt with. But, we are not to find ourselves mantled with guilt, shame or condemnation nor are we to think our sin to be but a mere mistake. We are to confess the sin and then believe that God has forgiven us the sin. God once gave me a vision of a professional skater. The skater is judged according to their performance. The judges are looking for flawlessness and fluidity during the skater’s performance. When a skater falls, they are to get up and continue on vying for high scores and an expected finish and the fall will not damage their next performance scores. There will be a moment of embarrassment, disappointment and grief but the show must go on. So it is with the Christian .. Repent and ask God to forgive and then move on and know that He has forgiven. Acknowledge the sin .. Repent of the sin .. Move past the sin.