Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is 'Sin'... Sin....?

Has someone's confession of sin ever led you into that sin?

It seems that there's a fine line in confession of sin and being vulnerable with each that we need to be aware of. While it's a powerful thing to share the things that we are struggling with openly and honestly, I wonder if the confession can sometimes be more detrimental for others than positive.

This seems especially plausible when older people share their stories with younger people. While there can very much be a reassurance that a student is not alone in their sin, it seems like there can very much be an attitude of, 'Oh, if he/she has done that... maybe I can too?'

I only think that because I remember feeling that way as a teenager. I remember feeling more okay about sin when I knew it was something one of my brothers, or an older girl in my youth group had done. I remember feeling okay about things because my 'solid' Christian peers were or had struggled with it.

My radar of sin is sometimes more indicative of what the people around me think over what the Lord thinks about it.

I fear that we forget that God hates sin and cannot be among it because He is thrice holy... but we are very quick to remember the sin that the world hates, the sin that the world condemns, the sin that other Christians judge us for. It seems that, more often than not, sin affects us more not because God hates it.... but because other people condemn, judge, and outcast us for it.

Quite oppositely, when our Christian crowds, churches, leaders, friends, mentors, families let us in on the sin in their's easy for us to go one of two ways. Either judge them for it, or think 'oh...that's not so bad....' which can lead us into a spiral of even trying it for ourselves (if we haven't already). I realize there's a middle ground, but in my personal experience I tend to take everything to either extreme.

Sometimes I think we even call things sin that aren't sin because that's what others around us have told us for so long. I wonder how much we even seek the answers for ourselves instead of just readily accepting that something is sin. It's a real bummer, actually. I think we can get so consumed by what religion is telling us is bad, that we forget to search it out for ourselves.

I know I'm briefly touching on a lot of big subjects here...
So, in a brief summary, here are my thoughts:

  1. In sharing your stories/struggles with others, use caution. Be aware that your confessions of sin might lead others astray. Be willing to leave out details and specifics if necessary. Find a safe place to spill all, but know that there are appropriate venues in which to do this. Know that while your story might resonate deeply with one, it could very easily lead another into sin. 
  2. Make sure your standard for sin is coming from the Lord and not from men. 
  3. Make sure the things that you are calling sin and treating like sin are sin. Not just because someone told you that...make sure you have a good understanding of what conviction from the Lord is vs. conviction from man.
While I wish the conviction from man would be a good indicator of what sin is and isn't, if we look at many things of the past, we find that we have been so very wrong so much of the time. 

We can go deeper with any of these things if you'd like. Just let me know. 

As always, please feel free to submit your own thoughts and questions that you have about any topic you're wrestling through or thinking about. I'd love to hear from you! 

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  1. "While I wish the conviction from man would be a good indicator of what sin is and isn't, if we look at many things of the past, we find that we have been so very wrong so much of the time"

    I'm honestly interested in what you mean by this.

    1. Well, without making this an incredibly long response...
      I'll give you one example that sticks out immediately: slavery. Christians would often condone slavery using Scripture.