Have you committed a sin lately?
Might be a question with an obvious answer “Yes!” because we all sin. Sometimes I hear people say that they sin all the time. Others I’ve heard say they don’t sin much.
Whether many times a day or hardly at all, even one sin can have us feeling guilty. And that is not a good feeling. When I feel guilt, it is an actual feeling. Very similar to feeling sick in the stomach. And it is connected to my thoughts. I feel guilty because I think I am guilty. I have all kinds of negative thoughts about it. Why did I do that? What are the consequences going to be? Will it be costly? Painful? Damaging to a relationship? Damaging to my future? Will people look down on me? Will I be fired? Will people hate me? You know the thoughts.
What makes the thoughts so devastating is that they are connected to our actions. We chose to act in a certain way that was wrong.
We chose to sin. Sin. We use that word, but what exactly does it mean?
Sin is when we act in a way that is wrong. For the Christian, the determination of what is wrong is simply anything that God does not approve of. There are sins of commission, when we do something God does not want us to do. There are also sins of omission, when we do not do something God does want us to do. Either way, by doing the wrong or leaving the good undone, God doesn’t approve. That is sin.
That might make God out to be a cosmic party-pooper, as if he wants life to be miserable and hard. But those of us who have walked with God for some time have found the opposite to be true. The way of God Kingdom is actually in our best interest. Sin, therefore, is an act against the way of God’s Kingdom, and not in our best interest. This is why I urge you not to believe depictions of Jesus and the disciples as a bunch of ultra-serious bores. Do you really believe his disciples would have given their lives to follow him, or that thousands upon thousands would have sought Jesus out if he was a terrible leader, dry, icy, and pathetic? I bet he had them in stitches all the time. And when you think of Jesus that as a great leader, you can also know that God is like that too. He’s fun, good, exciting, and loves us. And the way of his Kingdom is to help shape us into his image.
That’s why when we sin, we should take it seriously. So again, I ask, have you sinned lately? How do you feel about it? Ever feel guilty about your sin?
Sometimes we sin so much, or we have a particular sin that seems to just have a grip on us. As a result the guilt can be emotionally crippling. We feel like the worst of sinners. We’re good at exaggerating our impact, for good and bad. The worst of sinners? Probably not even close. But we can feel pretty guilty.
As we continue our teaching series through the letter called 1st Timothy, we next meet someone who gave himself the title “the worst of sinners.” If you had to list out the top 10 sinners in history, who would make the list? Hitler? Stalin? There have been some pretty bad sinners. So who is the worst? Check out 1st Timothy 1:12-17 to get ready, and join us at Faith Church to learn more.