It’s time for my Sunday Reflection, in which I post some of my thoughts on almost any issue connected to writing, faith or life in general.
We go to great lengths to minimize our view of sin – at least our view of our own sin. We rationalize, we excuse and we compare ourselves to people who appear far worse in our eyes, just so we can feel better about our own spiritual condition.
This is not a good idea, and it is made worse when those who are supposed to be leaders, especially in the church, aid and abet this process. Sin is a spiritual cancer, and we need to face squarely its destructive effects so that we take it as seriously as it ought to be taken.
Jeremiah speaks to this in 8:11 when he speaks of the prophets and priests in Judah who “Dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious” (NIV). It is a bad doctor indeed who sees cancer in his patient and says, in effect, “Don’t worry, it isn’t that bad.” This may be a more popular thing to say, something a patient desires to hear, but it is malpractice of the worst kind.
It is easy to see why so many in our culture try to solve our problems by telling us to ‘accept ourselves as we are,’ to believe that we’re just fine, but that’s a spiritual disaster waiting to happen. What I need, more than to accept myself, is to fall to my knees at the foot of my savior’s cross, since I am a lost and sinful man. This message may not be attractive to me, but knowing it is necessary if I am to respond to it. And obviously, responding correctly to this knowledge can save more than my life, as it is my soul that is at stake.
Don’t dress the wound of those you love as if it were not serious. Don’t cry peace, peace, when there is no peace. This doesn’t mean we should take delight in pointing out the sins of our friends and family, but I do think we all face moments when we can speak into the lives of those we care about. Sometimes, the message we need to speak is hard, but we need to be faithful and speak the truth.