Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Words That Should Not Be Forgotten
Over the years, seeing my sin has become (in light of Jesus’ work on the cross) one of the greatest of gifts. When I began to accept that I wasn’t nice—not just in theory but in actuality—lights started popping on, illuminating entire new regions within, regions filled with all kinds of goodies like “pride,” “anger,” “selfishness,” “idolatry,” or “envy.” I could now see and confess that I was, well, envious of Sally Jones’ perfect family, or angry that Henry Smith got kudos when I didn’t.The absence of pain is not health, Chanign how we express things so that people do not feel hurt by our words may be attractive, but it is not healing - only truth is healing.
Sometimes, now, when I listen to my friends, especially those who are 15 or 20 years younger, my hope is that God will graciously give them the gift of the “sin” words. In a broader culture that has reduced sin to at best a few albeit legitimate “isms” around race, sex, and age, and possibly “bad stewardship,” the ability to honestly name who we are can shrink. But oh how the lights come on, the landscape broadens and the colors deepen as we get the words and are freed up, in the presence of God and others, to tell the truth about ourselves.
We do need to remember the word "sin."