Originally Posted May 3 2016
When I was a kid I thought I understood what sin was… see God made rules, and to follow those rules was a sacrifice as it meant living a life of morals vs just doing what was easy. Other people would seem to be getting what you didn’t but in the end, whether soon or at the end of time, God would come down and strike wrath on all those sinful people for breaking His rules
…………..I was rather wrong…….
The older I get, the more I begin to realize that sin is something a lot simpler than that.
Sin is an ancient archery term which means missing the mark. So if God is the mark we are aiming for, every time we deviate from that path, we sin. What does this mean? Well for one thing it means that my entire focus on sin was backwards!
See, if everything that does not aim towards God is sin…. that means there are a LOT of sins…. like more than we could possibly list! How does this cause problems? Well if we focus on what not to do we’ll just get overwhelmed and just sin in a way we haven’t seen listed yet. Instead we need to focus on the right way. The ONE right way. And move our focus to trying to aim for Him. It is not so much what we shouldn’t do, but what we should do. Because if you start living your life aiming for what you should do, and why you should do it, the shouldn’t dos become a lot less important.
This brings us to the second thing we need to realize from this and that is, YOU WILL SIN! BADLY!
So far the only people I’ve met who claim to have never sinned suffer from the additional sin of lying… sometimes to themselves!
We are human beings! We are little, petty, tiny, minuscule. We can barely manage a bank book let alone the entirety of our lives!
So you will fail…. but that’s okay… I mean it’s not right, but don’t let this stop you from following after God.
No one is “Too messed up” for God…. no one is “Not able to believe in God.” No one is “Just not good enough to be a Christian.” Why? BECAUSE WE ALL STINK! (It sounds depressing but there is comfort in that.)
What do we do when we sin? when we fall? When we miss the mark? Possibly even miss the entire target??? We get up… say we’re sorry… and take aim all the harder.
Life isn’t like a school where you fail the test and you fail your grade. It’s not like a job where you get fired and it stays on your permanent record for every job you try to get after. We will mess up. We are bound to mess up. We can’t NOT mess up! So don’t let that stop you from chasing after God! Let it push you to try all the harder to get it right the next time!
So why do bad things happen to those who sin? If God is so nice why are there negative consequences? Why is he punishing us if we have no chance at following Him anyways?
Well one thing I’d like to bring up, is the greatest gift God gave us. Choice.
In order for there to be a choice there has to be consequences. The more negative the consequences, the more meaningful the choice. When I’m choosing a direction to take to deal with a medical emergency, my choices weigh far heavier than when I’m choosing what socks. (Though if you choose those argyle socks, your social life is ruined so choose that wisely too!)
Imagine if you will, if there were no consequences to your actions whatsoever… or even if no matter what you did, good things would happen to you. Sure at first it would be good (I’d love it to work like that in a few areas of my life) but it wouldn’t take long until the meaninglessness of your actions got to you.
We human beings are not supposed to live without meaning. We were placed on this earth for a purpose. We were given choices to make which hold weight to them. We were given people to interact with and our interactions matter. When we believe we have no purpose we fall apart! We go into depression. We self destruct!
They say the biggest killer in POW camps in WWII wasn’t the guards, but the meaninglessness of what they did. They say that people who retire usually die soon after. We are MEANT to have meaning!
So why were we made this way? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just build us as creatures with no other desire than to follow God? Why throw in this lousy choice thing?
Well the answer to that is simple as well…. if we had no control, we would have no intelligence. The purpose of intelligence is to maintain control. There is so much in this world that we cannot control, but we can control who we turn to as what is in control! (follow THAT if you can!) We can choose. Do we follow God? Do we follow pride? Do we follow greed? Do we follow fear? YOU Choose! God chose us! In spite of who we are God chose us as His people to send his son to die for us…. will you choose Him back?