I have had more insight into “sin” (my own and my children) during this pandemic, than all my studies at the university and seminary. I do not understand sin completely, but far more thoroughly than I once did! This, if nothing else, is a blessing of this insane “lockdown” associated with Covid-19.
In adopting three boys I was aware that they came with much emotional scarring and a lack of training. But I was not prepared for their responses to “sin” and their cavalier response to confrontation with sin. I love them all and that’s not going to change, but I have (been) taken aback over the past two months at the general lack of remorse for the bad things they are caught doing (only God knows about the things I don’t catch them doing). What has alarmed me is the general lack of disgust or desire to change when I point out something that is obviously and patently wrong. I often perceive a slight sorrow that I caught them, but no angst for the harm they’ve done, and quite typically they immediately look for someone or something to excuse them from blame.
But as I consider my own failures—-and my moral ineptitude as a child—I realize that neither my sons nor I learned to be obstinate or to deny our own faults. We came by it quite naturally. You might recall that when Eve committed the first sin, she blamed the snake. When God confronted Adam he blamed Eve, but reminded God, it was the woman “that you gave me” that caused me to sin. Oh brother! What a legacy Adam has left behind for all men! We’re still blaming women (and women are blaming men) and God for our moral failures.
It’s not just my boys that are ill prepared to admit errors or bad choices, etc. I read today of a Christian who argued that living the way “God made you” is okay, as if to suggest that sin is not innate to our fallen nature and therefore cannot be avoided. The other argument I have heard is that God is, “asking too much, so naturally I fail.” But in truth, there is a way out of our proclivities, weaknesses and need to find someone else “to”suffer the consequences of our sins: Faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Oswald Chambers said, “Jesus never mentioned unanswered prayer. He had the unlimited certainty of knowing that prayer is always answered. Do we have through the Spirit of God that inexpressible certainty that Jesus had about prayer, or do we think of the times when it seemed that God did not answer our prayer? Jesus said, “…everyone who asks receives…”
Jesus took the blame for my blunders and paid the price for my sins. But it’s my place to admit that he carried my sins and to seek power of the Holy Spirit to overcome the old nature within me. It can be done—-but not by denying sin.