It’s something that is often easier to discuss when it’s about other people, BUT if it’s about us, we can and probably will become uncomfortable and even indignant. “How dare you talk about sins especially while looking at me”, one might mutter.
It is easy to become offended when sin is mentioned in conjunction to us.
That’s for “those” people over there. (and we point our fingers in the hopes that we will be forgotten.)
Dare I say that just because we are Soldiers of the Salvation Army it doesn’t make us impervious to the lures and trappings of sin. In a very real sense, we become more susceptible to it. Do not, for a minute, assume that we will not face temptation as Salvationists (some of you are saying, “well duh”!) these temptations can lead to sin if we allow them even a small space to reside.
When it comes to temptation, we must be vigilant and aware of it at all times.
General William Booth once put it this way: “We are a salvation people – this is our speciality – getting saved and keeping saved, and then getting somebody else saved, and then getting saved ourselves more and more until full salvation on earth makes the heaven within, which is finally perfected by the full salvation without, on the other side of the river.”
Are “keeping saved”? To end do we protect ourselves from temptation?
I should clarify that temptation is not sin, these two things are connected, but one spurs the other on. It is not a sin to experience temptation…it only becomes sin when we give into temptation.
A friend of ours recently mentioned a statement someone had posed to them in regards to sin and the Church (our Corps included). Their statement was this: “it’s the hidden sins of the people that cause this (turmoil) in the Church.” A further pondering from this friend issued a followup question and statement – “perhaps what makes this statement true are the sins we don’t even consider or recognize as sins in our lives.”
Could this be true? Do we have unrecognizable sins in our lives right now?
Within our hearts, are there sin still left to be dealt with?
Are we flat-out ignoring our sins instead of dealing with them?
Is it just easier to ignore them instead of dealing with them because that would take a tremendous amount of courage, effort and strength?
Furthermore, what do we consider to be “sin”?
and a follow up to that question is – “have we rationalized some things in our lives that are sins so that they no longer guilt us or cause us to fret over our souls?”
We Are Good Liars!
I would venture a guess that we are amazing liars sometimes.
No, I’m not calling you a liar to others, but we can be very, very good at lying to ourselves about sin. We might gossip about someone, and yet we chalk it up to casual “fellowship” or mere “conversations”. We might use our words to speak harshly towards others while failing to see how harmful those words have become. Some might even look over the fence at others “committing sin” while they themselves are living with someone they aren’t married to.
I don’t want to make some sort of arbitrary list here today on this pondering, but I would say that we must be very, very careful when pointing out the sins of others when we have sins roosting in our own lives. Jesus called those people hypocrites and actors…I don’t want to be labeled an actor or hypocrite…do you?
Sometimes I wonder how much damage we as Christians do to would be followers of Christ when we are so quick to point out sins in others…use your words with compassion and hope instead of judge and jury!
Perhaps I am again stepping on toes today…let me assure you none more than mine!
We are still in need of salvation daily!!
We are still under construction daily!!
We are still sinners who have been saved by grace…daily!!
Dear Lord, help me to recognize the hidden or forgotten sins in my life today.
But more than that, help me to confess them to you. Help me to work them out of my life, to embrace forgiveness and deliverance from even my worst of sins. You know my heart and my life – reveal to me that which still has yet to be confessed. Grant me your strength to make the necessary changes in my life, and in so doing, guide my life to be the very hands and feet of you in all that I say and do! In your name I pray.
I would like to know what you think about this topic.
Your thoughts, comments and questions are solicited and appreciated!
Something more for our Army world to ponder today!
To God be the glory!
Disclaimer: The writings and thoughts expressed by the writer are not necessarily the thoughts and opinions of The Salvation Army.