“It’s a sin cursed world!” If you’ve spent any time around any amount of evangelicals you have probably heard this statement. Maybe they were referring to diseases, or simply talking to someone who may have been wronged in some way. Regardless, it is a true statement, but what has happened in it’s use is that it has become excusatory. It shouldn’t be, but it has. It should be an awareness for sure. You know, kinda like “peeing on an electric fence hurts”. You say it to raise an awareness and provide the education that, should the opportunity arise, you probably shouldn’t pee on that electric fence, but inevitably, somebody is still gonna do it. That’s probably a horrible comparison, but it’s what I got right now.
Now, with that awareness for those of us that will sin (read: everyone), we would hope that it would at least reduce the times we fall victim to these things. For those affected by the sins of others (also read: everyone), however, perhaps it should be a precursor to allow us to exercise that whole “justice, mercy, grace” thing that I’ve talked about a couple times. I reckon its just good practice. Of course, it shouldn’t be without rebuke.
I speak through all of this, of course, from experience. There is a song by dc Talk, that is probably my favorite that they’ve ever done, called “In The Light”, and, without failing, every time I am covered in sin, I hear this song. I’ve had it come on the local radio station, and even randomly pop up while listening to my Pandora station. Every time, I weep through it. The opening lyrics go like this:
I keep trying to find a life
On my own, apart from you
I am the king of excuses
I’ve got one for every selfish thing I do
Each time I hear that, I see more and more that I have done away from my savior. Maybe I’ve gotten better at reading my Bible, or spend more time in prayer, but there is always something that has fallen away. Quite often, I have been downright despicable. Of course, in the Bible Isaiah compares everything we do apart from the Lord to what has often been translated to “filthy rags” or “soiled rags”, but more graphically, he is referring to used menstrual rags. Yeah, that’s gross, but it really is that serious. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul compares everything apart from Christ to what has been translated as “rubbish” or “filth” or even as boldly as “dung” in the KJV, but nonetheless, still more graphically, the original word translates much closer to a word we use today that rhymes with spit. So yeah, I think the point is driven home there. Furthermore, the whole “King Of Excuses” thing, yeah, I’m good at that, like real good. Rationalizing and pointing blame are pretty easy, but it doesn’t matter, I’m still the one that failed.
What’s going on inside of me?
I despise my own behavior
This only serves to confirm my suspicions
That I’m still a man in need of a savior
I ask myself that question each time. “What’s going on inside of me?” It couldn’t be more of an appropriate question. Further, the despising my own behavior thing, yeah that pretty much hits the nail on the head. I’ve gotten to a point of sickness hurting about what I was doing and how to really get out of it. Afraid of embarrassment, or what the other consequences may be, webs will weave and things get so buried and so tangled, all in hopes that the stench won’t get out, but you can only perfume a rotten soul sandwich so much. The only fix, is my Savior.
I sit and I hurt and I wallow in my grief of what I have done and who I have hurt. The more I do this, the more I let the sin lay, which only feeds it and lets it grow. I have a Savior that took that guilt from me. I’m not guilty of these things after accepting Him, He was as He was nailed to a cross. So why do I continue to fail? Well, it’s a sin cursed world, and I am a part of it. Nope, not an excuse, it’s just something I need to remind myself. I need to be in this world, so I can continue to tell others what He has done, but I have to continue to try and push myself not to be OF this world.
The grace that we have been given is not a blip on the radar of our lives. No, it’s a part of sanctification that we have to go through to reach our true home with God. It’s a process, an ongoing journey in and of itself. So I have to continue to repent, continue to grow, and continue to seek my part of His grace. I have to work out my salvation with fear and trembling as Paul puts it in that same letter to the Philippians. That’s not because I need to be afraid of what my fate is, I know that I have a place in His Kingdom, but I have to be afraid of what I will do next, because these consequences hurt now. I have to want to follow what Jesus said and did.
I wanna be in the light
As you are in the light
I wanna shine like the stars in the heavens
Oh, lord be my light and be my salvation
Cause all I want is to be in the light
All I want is to be in the light
So, I’ve sinned, again and again, and of course, there’s more than a chance that I will fail again, but what can I do to make sure that it’s not the same failure over and over? Perhaps it will be something with much smaller consequences to people I love, or even something that can be used as an example to keep others from what I’ve done. I’ve got more to say on these things, but that entry is still being written. Meanwhile, the second verse is a reminder:
The disease of self runs through my blood
It’s a cancer fatal to my soul
Every attempt on my behalf has failed
To bring this sickness under control
I’m not going to fix this on my own. I don’t have an answer to my failings. Maybe that’s why I like to ask questions so often, but I also know, that no person on this earth has THE answer either. They may have helpful ideas and advice, but without my Savior, I am nothing, and can accomplish nothing.
So the wrapped up burrito here, friends, is this: Give grace, because you will fail. This IS a sin cursed world, but don’t let that serve as your excuse once you do, let that serve as your warning so that you might stop things before they start. I know this is WAY not my style, but the TV was on late one night while preparing for Christmas, and Joel Osteen came on and he actually said something that’s painfully true. He said your test will become your testimony. So, be ready for some testimony coming soon, because I have plenty of tests to talk about