The Sin Absolutely NO ONE Wants to Talk About
Devotional Thought of the Day:
28 Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. 29 Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. 30 They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. 31 They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. 32 They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too. Romans 1:28-32 (NLT)
13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” Matthew 9:13 (NLT)
28 Sometimes we hear love described (you’ll have heard me mention this more than once) as if it were a movement towards self-satisfaction, or merely a means of selfishly fulfilling one’s own personality. And I have always told you that it isn’t so. True love demands getting out of oneself, giving oneself. Genuine love brings joy in its wake, a joy that has its roots in the shape of the Cross. (1)
In the first quote above, there is an incredible list of sins. If you read the verses before the quote in Romans, there are more sins, more perversions of the relationships that God has blessed us with, in those He has brought in to our lives.
Some will talk of how horrible this sin is, how malignant that one, or that a specific one is an abomination. Some of us will point out the entire list, indicating that gossip is as bad as any sexual sin, that breaking vows is as bad as murder. We want sin confronted, the people chastised, preferably publicly! We all have our pet peeves, those sins that need the full wrath of God poured out on them. Often arguments are reduced to which sin is worse, which will receive the fullest wrath of God, even as each of us thinks our sin should even reduce the way our mansion in heaven is furnished.
In treating sin and those whose sin we condemn in such a way, we too sin. I would draw your attention to the last sin in verse 31. We have become people who are heartless (literally – we refuse to love our family) and we refuse to show mercy.
We refuse to forgive, we refuse to reconcile, we refuse to acknowledge each other as the adopted, cleansed, forgiven children of God whom have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit. In refusing to show mercy to others, we deny the will of God, which is patient because we aren’t willing that any should perish, but that ALL should come to repentance, all should be reconciled, all should be invited to know the mercy and filial love that Christ has shown us.
In not forgiving, we are asking God to not forgive them, to bind that sin to them and make them face the wrath of God. In not forgiving, in not showing mercy, that is exactly what we are asking. We are denying the very heart of God.
Is showing mercy easy? No.
Does loving people like they are our family (and in Christ they are, or can be) take the kind of sacrifice, the getting out of oneself that Escriva encourages us to do? Yes, and it is hard, very hard.
So what that it is hard?
Yes…. that doesn’t negate the need to be merciful, nor to show people love.
We are merciful, because it is God’s desire, and because He has shown us mercy…..
and when we struggle, the aid is just a short prayer…..
Lord, have mercy a sinner!
- Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 339-343). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.