If I told you that about a certain restaurant and you knew me well enough to know my tastes in food and standards in service and whether I would be telling you the bare truth or an exaggeration you could make a judgment as to whether or not you wanted to risk your taste buds at said establishment. On the other hand if I tell you that a place serves yummy food and each time I go there I eat way too much, that the wait staff is sweet and keeps filling my plate with goodies and I leave over full and it takes two days to feel like eating again, but it's so good I keep going back, then what are you going to think of the place. Maybe that you can go, enjoy and have a little more self control and reason that I do, maybe.
This morning in church Mark was talking about sin and how our own sin must be abhorrent to us in order for us to want to be shed of it. If our own sin doesn't horrify and sicken us we not only continue to commit that sin again and again but at the same time we are basically advertising to those around us that the service is good and food is amazing come on in and get some. Our attitude about our own sins tells a lot about what we believe about God and His attitude about our sins and even about what we think of our fellow believers and the non-believers around us.
Think about it this way, if you are a lot or even a little overweight and you go swimming it's so freeing to be in the water where that water supports some of your weight and frees you from it. When I exit the pool and feel all of my own weight again it is heavy and burdensome, even if it is less weight than it had been before, my knees and ankles feel it, my back feels it and I want rid of it. Sin is the same way. If we are in an atmosphere where others are accepting of our sin then it doesn't weigh too much and the need to get rid of it isn't felt quite so much. It's easy to find ourselves in these situations, each of us have a proclivity towards a sin and it's easy to find company that likes the same things, just as easy as it is to find friends who like the same music, food or movies, we can find friends who like to sin the same way and when we are in their company we both lighten the weight of their sin on them, they lighten the weight we feel from ours and we help each other take a few more steps away from the cross which is the only place that either of our sins will ever truly come off of us.
We cannot love our sins and our God at the same time. When we are loving our sins we are in point of face unbelievers. We all sin, we all sin a lot, each time we repent of our sin, no matter how many times we have committed it, we are forgiven again. God knows that we are so filled and covered in sin that we need continual forgiveness. This is why God puts no limit on how many times we can hear His Words of Absolution, how often we can receive the Lord's Supper or how often we can seek Him in His Word.
We can hide our sin from our neighbor, we can hide it from our family, we can even try to fool ourselves into thinking that we are hiding it from God but in the end we do none of those things. When we have a sin that we choose to dwell in and love to hold onto and give excuses for we hurt ourselves, we hurt our family and our neighbor, if in no other way than giving them the impression that it's okay to keep sinning, after all God forgives me. The only way to be truly free of our sin is to hate it, to despise it, to want it ripped from us and to want to never ever do it again, and even then we will likely end up doing it again but just like telling someone that the food is awful and the service is worse at least we won't be leading our neighbor into that sin by making it look like fun.
The Food Adventure Continues - I started this blog when we started changing the way we eat. Finding out we needed to be gluten free, actually for me wheat free, was a huge big deal. Late...