Sin and its solution

January 5, 2011

I should be well into my R.E.M. cycle by now, but I felt a gentle pull to forgo my sleep for a while and share some thoughts about what God has been pushing me through lately.

I just got off the phone with a good friend with whom I share the shame of similar spiritual failings and sinfulness but with whom I also share the joy of mutual confession and accountability regarding said failings and sinfulness.

Sin is a funny thing: funny in the sense that it is confusing, but also in the sense that it’s often laughable in the way that we talk about it.

The church seems to have two different camps on the issue:

One camp talks vaguely about sin as if it’s a foreign style of clothing they’ve never tried on or, for that matter, wouldn’t be caught dead wearing. To them, sin is the stinky socks on the other guy’s feet.

The other camp sighs openly about sin as if it’s a stubborn rash that just won’t clear up and unfortunately has no remedy. To them, sin is the misery-loves-company badge of common complacency.

The Bible tells us Jesus was a man familiar with suffering.

My failings tell me I am a man familiar with sin.

I can relate to David’s words in Psalm 51: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me.”

I also see myself in Paul’s aching confession in Romans 7: “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work in my members. What a wretched man I am!”

I think that most Christians would acknowledge that the goal of a Christian life is much bigger than simply trying your hardest not to sin.

Obviously, “letting love be our greatest aim,” as Paul tells the church at Corinth, should act as the driving force of everything we do as Christians, including our pursuit of righteousness and Godliness.

I mean, I’ve seen that principle at work.

Hiding yourself in a corner and trying to wash the sin stains off of your clothes is never as effective as trading in your rags for his righteousness as you pursue love with everything you have.

In other words, you never break free from sin by focusing on fixing your sin; you break free by stepping into the light and allowing God to fix it for you.

Now, as a leader, there is a tension here.

The last thing I want to promote is the idea that being a leader means attaining perfection. But, at the same time, I recognize that being a leader does mean setting an example of righteousness for people to follow.

Whether your job title includes the word “leader” or not, that’s a tension we all feel.

We all sin.

I do.

You know you do.

Now, the question is, how comfortable are we with accepting that fact, not delighting in it, but accepting it.

I guess I feel like the church has created a culture of believers that is so transfixed with the idea of perfection, that it has become a breeding ground for feigned righteousness.

We’re a group of addicts in denial.

We know the way to recovery, but we hate it.

In this kind of culture, the last thing a person feels encouraged to do is unload the festering pile of guilt his sin has heaped upon his shoulders. Instead, we limp our way through church lobbies, hold back our winces of secret pain, and hope nobody notices.




These are words that we don’t like in church.

“I couldn’t possibly be open about my sins. I just can’t bear the thought of the guy next to me knowing that I have problems.”

I just love what my pastor said once, “Breathe easy. Everyone already knows you have problems anyway.”

What a beautiful picture of the church.

Healing through confession. Victory through throwing our darkness into the light.

It’s a wonderful feeling not having anything to hide.

My prayer is that God would continue to sustain me in a posture of transparency, vulnerability, and confession-always.

It’s the only way to experience victory over my sinfulness and shame.


9 Responses to “Sin and its solution”

  1. Bonnie S. said

    There’s an old much used phrase that a church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum for saints…

  2. My friend Hannah May posted a link here and I am so glad she did. I see the page you are on and am right there on the same page with you! This blog post was amazing. Thank you for being so articulately transparent.


  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by energion. energion said: RT @jodypraise: "Sin and its solution" a good word that is worth reading AND re-Tweeting. […]

  4. Nick said

    I have read this. I have enjoyed this. I miss the guy who wrote this.

  5. Uncle Doug Hardin said

    I’ve learned the hard way over the years that Satan will always push me to either ignore my sins…become careless about their presence, or to really zero in on them trying to convince me that I will never be/do any better.

    Someone told me long ago that my hope is to be found in “glancing” at my sins…taking stock of them and repenting but then to quickly go back to “gazing” into the face (so to speak) of my Savior, Jesus…Jon, always blessed/helped/convicted by your Spirit-led musings..

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