Sunday, February 07, 2010

The trouble with flicking off sin

From Worship Well:
I can't seem to shake it off. Over the last month or so the Lord has really been working me over about sin. Not my specific sin (although He is having a go at that) but sin in general. Here is what I mean. In the past I have tended to view sin as “having some crumbs” on my pants after dinner. Most of the time I could ignore them. If I was in a energetic mood and they bothered me, it was easy for me to “flick” them off. Flick. It means “a light quick blow, jerk, or touch: a flick of the wrist.”

In other words, I could confess them, say I was sorry, and they would be whisked away. It was as if I flicked the crumbs on the floor and the dog came by to lick them up. Easy stuff. The only problem with that is simply this: sins are not crumbs. They are stains. You can’t flick stains off of your pants. Stains are a problem. A stain has to be washed out very carefully with the right soap, or guess what? It permanently stains the garment. I am sure that has happened to you before. A stain made permanent will cause you to throw away an otherwise good pair of pants.

So, if the word picture is catching your imagination, you might wonder what you can do about it. The Psalmist is helpful here. He says, “Cleanse me with hyssop and I will be clean, wash me and I’ll be whiter than snow.” You need to be washed. More specifically the garment of your soul needs to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. He is the only one who can remove sin stain. All you need to do is stop trying to flick it off and give it to Him. You are not able. He is more than capable.

As you ask to be cleansed, you might want to thank Him for His power and you might want to ask if He would make your garment a bit more stain resistant. He can do that too. You are worth more than a good pair of jeans and He won’t throw you away.
I heard these thoughts from my friend Randy last week at an event. It deeply impacted me because I often feel like I shrug off sin and am almost to quick to "repent." I put that in quotations because, as Randy said, repentance is a gift from God after feeling the weight of our sin. Far too often we don't let our sin affect us and so our hearts aren't really ready to repent.

Instead, he proposed we ought to speak our sin several times out loud to help us own it, no matter how insignificant we think it to be. The smallest of sins is terribly offensive to God. It robs Him of glory. But thankfully, to the degree I own up to and know the weight of my sin, I am able to rejoice that much more in the grace and forgiveness found in the person and work of Jesus Christ.

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