A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Through the Looking Glass and Back Again

There are days I am given a glimpse of what sin is. In rare moments of spiritual clarity (because I'm such a thick headed beast) I see its power at work and it's corrupting influence in my life. Its subtleties are many, often catching one unawares.
Most of the time we talk about sin as if it's an abstract concept, not an everyday reality.
Even those of us who call ourselves Christians might harbour thoughts that we mightn't be so bad especially when compared to a Stalin or a Jeffrey Dalmer.

I was sitting in a cramped Maccas playground yesterday, oddly outraged by the bad behaviour of other people's children. The other people were noticeably absent so there wasn't much supervision going on.
As the minutes ticked on, I inhabited the gumpy old person persona and became increasingly irate. After a few minutes of stewing in irritation, I thought it was best that I remove myself from temptation entirely.
So we left.
One of the other people's children shot me quizzical looks... I daresay she must have cottoned on to my disapproving glances.

While I might not commit large scale genocide or rob my neighbour, my capacity for self-righteousness, however, knows no bounds.

As I drove off, I thought about the Pharisee from the story Jesus told regarding two quite different men who went to the temple. The Pharisee thought himself above reproach and so felt no need for forgiveness. True, he lacked humility but behind his attitude was utter blindness to his own sinfulness. His standard of goodness/purity were pretty low because he was comparing himself to the tax collector.

Many of us have very low standards of goodness mainly because we have a very weak view of sin. Seems like an obvious thing to say... But there's an important correlation between the two.
We are masters of rationalization in our hearts and the bar is continually lowered so there's little to feel guilty about.

The good news is that guilt is an important first step to freedom from sin. Grace is only amazing when sin is seen as the terrible power that it is.

Most of the time I'm not a very nice person... But I must be one of those sick people that Jesus claimed that he came to save.

Yeah, it's a glorious truth. For this very imperfect mummy.

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