Sin. It is not a word that is used very often outside of a Christian context. The idea behind sin is much broader than I often think we give it credit for. We often equate sin to active evil, like murder, robbery, drug addiction, child abuse or molestation. While this is certainly included in a definition of sin, it goes much beyond that. It is essentially when we miss the mark of God’s expectations. To put it in a relational context, it is when we fail God in upholding our side of our relationship with Him. This can be done with the severe acts of murder, theft, addictions, and child abuse, but it can also be done by being proud, self-righteous, bitter, spiteful, and just not caring about what God has to say about anything.
For some reason I think we have some sort of disconnect with sin in our culture, even our Christian culture. I have talked with many people who easily say that they are not perfect and that they struggle in their walk with God. Sin seems to be present in the church, that is easy to see. What is harder to figure out, for me at least, is how to deal with such sin.
If sin is primarily the act of being unfaithful either in action, thought, or attitude to our relationship with God, I can say that I still sin and probably always will. It also seems from my observations that this is the state of the church whether in “young” or “old” Christians. That is not to say that I haven’t met moral Christians, but if sin is more than just morality and that our morality can sometimes even lead us into sin, then how much does that mean?
This leads me to my deeper questions, what sins are acceptable in the church? Is pride okay to struggle with while lust is not? Is hypocritical self-righteousness okay while honest brokenness is often chastised? Does our inability to correct a sin that we constantly struggle with mean that we are just not loving God enough or that we aren’t wanting to change in our heart? If we can easily say that we are not perfect, and in that admitting that we are sinners, why do we get so surprised by sin?
I wish I had answers to these questions. And I surely hope that being perfect is not the final requirement. I will fail that so hard. My hope and life only rest on the sacrifice of Christ. I don’t have much more than that. Does that mean I will not try to follow and be faithful to God in my relationship with Him and simply only follow after my own desires? No, but I do know that I am not perfect, I am a sinner still. I am only righteous by the work and blood of Jesus, never my own.