Reflections on a sin


That is a brilliant job – the whole room looks wonderful! Well done!
Yes, but see that bit there …
What bit?
That bit just above the (???) and to the left a little
What … that bit just there … ?
No – not that bit – THAT bit – can’t you see it? I can!

Can you hear that knocking?
No.
When I do (???) it knocks – listen … there it is again!
Still not hearing it …
There – it did it again!
Still not getting it …

Finding fault. To find fault I need to be familiar with something or someone.  And the person with whom I am most familiar is … me.  Stand in front of the mirror – what do I see?

Not what others see.

I see me. The me I live with all day and every day. The me that knows what others don’t. The me that knows how often I fail. The me that knows what I think. All those thoughts that if others knew would mean no one could love me.  Not if they if they knew my thoughts. I stand in front of the mirror and I see a fraud.

Dear Lord and Father, forgive us our sins … Dear Saviour, we have sinned, we have trespassed, we have not done what we ought to have done and we have done what we ought not to have done … Brethren, we are but sinners … Dear sweet Jesus, I am nothing, I have nothing, I can never be anything but that you allow … All I have is yours. I am not worthy to look you in the eye.

I wonder.

When individual familiarity becomes corporate familiarity – does corporate familiarity find fault corporately?

When week after week (from birth) we are told corporately that we are not worthy, that we are but sinners – can we be anything other than sinners?

When we pray privately how does all that NOT rub-off – can we be anything other than at fault?

I have heard a statistic.

That one bad thing wipes out ten good things.  That one insult, criticism, telling off, angry moment … each one will overlay ten happy memories, ten loving memories, ten good memories.  The breakdown of relationships and divorce statistics tend to support that thought … “Familiarity breeds contempt” tends to support that thought.  Religion tends to support that.  Corporate worship tends to support that.

I have long wondered whether our “need for sin” answers a deep-seated loathing – a need to find fault.  And if so … how do we accommodate love?  Where does our “need for love” fit?  Why will we never allow ourselves to love unconditionally?

Reflections on love yesterday … one verse today.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
(The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested)

Temptation/trial/test … work/duty/obligation … burden/cross/persecution … fault/fault/fault.
Yet here at home.
Love/fun/gifts … enjoyment/freedom/delight … family/sharing/receiving … love/love/love.

And there are moments of anger, frustration, tiredness, irritation, blame, forgiveness, imperfection … But they are fragments for healing – not traits of dysfunction. As family we find fault far less than we find (and are) “corporate love” – we have no “corporate blame” (or permanent-on finding fault mode).

And I cannot imagine our family regularly sitting together bemoaning how unworthy we are to/for each other. I cannot imagine we would want to gather together to have family-self-flagellation on a regular basis.

Or is it that in church we don’t really believe all that “forgive us” stuff?  Might we all go along with it because it is expected?  Do we mouth the words whilst our hearts and minds are somewhere else?

Forgive us our sins. And where are you going on your holidays – anywhere nice … ?

Our Father who is in heaven hallowed be your name your kingdom come your will be done in earth as it is in heaven give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil for yours is the kingdom the power and the glory for ever and ever amen.
(The Greek for temptation and tempted can also mean testing and tested)

Do we Christians prefer sin to love?  Is finding a sin easier than loving?  Why this mantra of “forgive us our sins” (even the sin of “forgive us for not loving enough”) … ?

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5 thoughts on “Reflections on a sin

  1. “I have long wondered whether our “need for sin” answers a deep-seated loathing – a need to find fault.”

    Pretty sad when you look at it. No wonder we needed Jesus to save us…from ourselves!

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