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Faith

A New Perspective: Is Sin Really What We Think It is?

About a month ago I came across a thread on sin. It proposed a new perspective on how we think and talk about Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. It has been mulling around in my brain since I read it. And this past Easter, as we celebrated His resurrection with our candy filled eggs and Easter baskets, I was reminded of it again.

Easter

The Easter holiday in our house is definitely more commercial than Christian. At least for our kids. We haven’t been to a church service in years. And we chose not to overtly push our beliefs onto our children, so tend to stick to the more secular traditions of holidays. A friend of mine, who is very opposite to me in that area, had started a new Easter tradition years ago. She wanted to share the beauty of the resurrection with her kids in a way that was more accessible to them. I remember the first year I saw it in action. She shared pictures of this new tradition with pride. And the comments from our mutual friends oohing and ahhing over it just confused me. I thought for sure I was missing something.

A cute idea

The night before, the family would go together on a walk and collect rocks in their Easter buckets. These were meant to represent our sins and the weight of them that we carry on the daily. At home, those buckets would be set out and covered with a red cloth, Jesus’s blood that was shed for us. That representation of Christ’s sacrifice would transform those “sins” while the kids were sleeping. And Easter morning their buckets would be overflowing with Easter treats. There would be notes sharing the good news of Christ’s triumph over the grave and what that meant for our sins.

“I have removed your sin as far as the East is from the West. You are now a new creation!”

“I have washed you clean from sin. Go and walk in freedom!”

“Your sins are forgiven! Come near to me and I will come near to you.”

For some reason the idea that kids needed to see the literal message of having their sins forgiven and washed away bothered me. What sins could a child possibly have? The notes bothered me. But I just assumed it was because I was not as strong a believer as my friends.

Sin

And then, I read this beautiful thread. And I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t believe enough or the right way. I simply saw sin differently.

It was not a list of no-nos. It went beyond the magic list of thou shalt not’s. Sin was simply a part of our nature because we are human. It is everything God is not.

I could also never understand why the Christian community could not agree on what constituted a sin. Sexuality in any non-marriage related form, drugs, alcohol, eating meat, feeling envy or anger, etc. What made something a sin for some but not for others? Why could one man drink wine during communion, but another had to drink water? Why was a marriage only allowed between one man and one woman in this church, but in another it was one man and several women? Does God really care what tattoos I may have or how I dress? I don’t think so. And it seems to me that those lists were more about control than being closer to God.

The effect on my faith

Having my eyes opened to this new perspective on sin helped me in my faith. I love being challenged (gently, because I am a big softy) on what I believe when it comes to my faith in God. And this thread coming across my newsfeed did that.

Did Christ go to the cross and bleed for my soul because I drink or smoke? Because I have sex outside of marriage? Because I have tattoos and piercings? I don’t think so. He bled for me on that cross because this world is broken. Because sin is in everything we see and do. Because sin is simply the absence of God’s divinity. He could have easily made us gods, free of sin. But He chose to make us human, like Him but not the same as Him. And He chose to give us the gift of choice, knowing full well how we would use it and where it would lead us. And so He also gave us Christ, to cover us so that we may be with Him again in the hereafter.

That’s the beauty of Easter. And for the first time this year, I think I finally get it.

Sound off!

Let me know what you think! How do you think about sin in your life? Does this new perspective challenge that? How would you live out your faith differently if you thought of sin in this way?

Categories
Faith

Love God: It Really Is That Simple

It’s complicated. Yet so simple. As Jesus says: Love God. Love your neighbor.

Check and checkā€¦ mostly.

I think we all struggle with that last one, regardless of beliefs. We are human after all. But that first one? Check. Simple enough. Love God.

It took me a while to get there though. I was not raised in the church. Nor in a particularly religious family. My mom is not at all religious. My dad has his faith but it’s his, and he is not one to really share unless asked. I’m sure it has guided him throughout life. But quietly.

Feeling His Influence

My grandparents and aunts and cousins (on my dad’s side) are slightly more religious. They have their bible studies and church on Sundays and prayers. Okay, so maybe more than slightly. But we moved a lot (military brat!) so their influence was from afar (if at all).

I grew up knowing who God is, knowing the important commandments, and the big bible stories. There was church and Sunday School and youth group depending on where we were stationed.

But it wasn’t until Lovey and I got serious that God and church became a real part of my life.

So we “shopped” around town for months before finding a church we both felt comfortable with. We “plugged in” to the studies and ministries. And I found a safe place to wonder and explore.

“All the questions just faded to the background and it was just peace.”

I made great new friends who were patient and loving and ready to help me find whatever answers I needed without being pushy. And then it happened, driving in the rain with Lovey, off to explore a nearby city for the day. A peace I had not felt before just washed over me. All the questions just faded to the background and it was just peace. Like standing in the middle of a forest, surrounded by a silence you can feel, with none of the dark and foreboding ickies surrounding it.

Since that day, I have grown and read and still sought out answers. But I also settled into a peace that those questions may always be there. That He will give me answers on His time. It has been a lesson in trust and patience. And love.

Love God. Love your neighbor.

It’s just that simple.

Tell me about your journey. Do you still have questions? How has He answered those for you?