Friday, December 20, 2013

Sin and Spam

Photo take by xandert

I keep hearing that word.


Sin-short coming, falling short, mistake, missing the mark, rebelling against God, pride, selfishness, total depravity. All words cultural christianity uses as synonyms for that word.

I hear a faint chorus singing in the tune of the Monty Python Spam Sketch:

“We have Jesus, grace, forgiveness and sin, 
We have Forgiveness, sin grace and sin.
We have sin, sin, sin, Jesus and sin.
We have grace, sin, sin, sin, sin and sin.
We have sin, sin, sin, sin, sin, sin, Jesus and grace.
AND we have sin, sin, sin, sin and sin.”

Studying Romans this year in Bible Study, I read it in the notes and hear it in the lecture, yet when reading the text from Romans 2 thru Romans 7 I hear Paul saying something else.

After the infamous first chapter that everyone quotes ends with this verse:
“They know well enough God's righteous decree that people who do such things deserve to die; yet not only do they keep doing them, but they applaud others who do the same.” Romans 1:32

Photo taken by Darnok

Then Paul turns around in Romans 2 to kick the reader’s keister.
“Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, passing judgment; for when you judge someone else, you are passing judgment against yourself; since you who are judging do the same things he does.”

The rest of those five chapters talks about our freedom in Christ. How we now practice the law because of grace NOT because of a need to fulfill it. In Chapter 7 he makes the whole thing personal in verse 7:
“…the function of the (law) was that without it, I would not have known what sin is. For example, I would not have become conscious of what greed is if the (law) had not said, ‘Thou shalt not covet.’”

We are all guilty of that. Pride triggers jealousy over what someone else has. Our contentment challenged births jealousy which expresses itself in envy. Envy feeds greed and around the merry-go-round we go. Not one of us can say we are free from it. Even Paul confesses in Romans 7:15

“I don't understand my own behavior - I don't do what I want to do; instead, I do the very thing I hate!”

Growing up I was always told, “Hate the sin but love the sinner.” It applied to everyone who was not a Christian. My soul felt a little sick every time I heard it. In high school a Mormon friend and I debated the concept: this friend who I loved, but it was approved to hate her religion because it was sin. I walked away from that encounter never able to say it again. What is sin in my life may not be sin in someone else’s.

I am called to love my neighbor as I love myself.

Photo taken by chelle
For people to know I am a follower of Christ because of how I love others.

To get the log out of my own eye before I try to take a speck out of my neighbor’s.

So while the interwebs are throwing around the Sin ball, I will be over here working on my own shortcomings. Struggling to let go of my own resentments and learning to love others. 

All while singing the Spam song.

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