Quote of the Day:
I agree. You acted badly, out of weakness. But what I fail to understand is how, with a clear conscience, you have not repented. You cannot do something wrong and then say, or think, that it is something holy, or that it is of no importance.
One of the challenges, in talking so much about God cleansing us of our sin, is that we somehow believe the sin isn’t a big deal. It is so easy to deal with, so easy to know God has forgiven us, do we grieve our sin anymore?
Do we grieve over the sin committed against us? Not grieving that it was committed against us, but grieving that the environment that we are part of, that results in people being compelled to sin? For sin isn’t just the sin of the person who did the act, but it is in part due to our being people who sin. How can I find the person who betrayed me by lying to me any more sinful than I am, as part of the issue is that my sin prevents them easily finding me trustworthy. Do we grieve these kinds of environments that lead people to sin through a sense of self-preservation?
For that matter, do we see sin as an individual issue, or that of the community? ( I will make the case in a later blog – that sin is always a communal issue in cause, and in need for healing)
Back to the quote by St. Josemarie, do we repent of our sin? Do we even bother to take the time to say “we are sorry”, or do we just dismiss the damage, ignore the pain, hide from bringing the issue to be healed, reconciled, the relationship restored. What happens if we don’t seek the transformation that is what we are called repentance. What if we don’t seek healing? What if we do the unthinkable, and begin to justify what we did, in hope our conscious would be relieved?
Why take such a complex way of dealing with it? Why embrace pain unnecessarily? Why set ourselves us, because we’ve been correctly found untrustworthy, to be sinned against, to be sinned against? Though life is pain (see my other blog today) we don’t need to cause ourselves more pain, either directly or indirectly.
Why not see what scripture calls is gifted and granted to us. For repentance requires more than we are capable of in the first place. It’s not just saying, “I’m sorry”, for how many of us struggle to accept those words over and over and over. Repentance is much deeper. It is a very change of how we think, what we say, what we do.
I love the word picture in Greek – literally to have a brain transplant. Or as my geek friends would say – a completely new OS (operating system) That changes everything – and causes us, requires us, calls us to depend on God ever more deeply. We cannot repent unless that ability is granted to us, unless it is a gift. So the apostles recognized,
11:16 Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” 18 When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”
Acts 11:16-18 (NLT)
We have been given this gift, this ability to have our minds transformed, replaced, so greatly they have been cleansed that we are considered new, changed, alive instead of death. It is then, that we are realize how damaging our sin was, and that it grieves us – not just our sin, not just that we’ve been sinned against, but that we live in an environment that so encourages sin.
The more we grieve, the more we learn to run to the only place we have hope – the One who cleanses us, the One who heals us (note the plural here) the One who welcomes sinners, not saints, that He can give us the gift that makes us saints in His Father, our Father’s eyes.
Lord, have mercy upon us… and help us to rejoice as we are healed together… of the sin which has ensnared us.