Confessions of a Closet Christian: Why Is It Hard to Call Sin What It Is?

When I hear the word “sin”, I think of something dark and crusty, like liquid that dried and caked on a beating heart.

If we believe that Jesus died for us, then our sins are washed from our hearts.  We’re clean.

But still, we continue to sin.

Those sins are forgiven, but we do still sin.

Sometimes I think that I treat sin like an ostrich would.  I earnestly plant my head in the sand with the hopes that maybe – just maybe – if I don’t see it, it may not actually be there.

But it is.  All around us.  All the time.

If we looked closely, we’d see everything caked over with sin.  Layer upon layer, it builds up as we fail to acknowledge it and ask for forgiveness.

Why are we so afraid to call sin what it is?  To hold each other accountable?  To actually deal with it?

I think it’s because “conviction” (a strong persuasion of beliefs) is so closely related in our minds with “condemnation” (severe reproof).  We hear any correction as the antithesis of our salvation.  And when we find ourselves being convicted by the words of another sinner, we reject them and that misinterpreted condemnation that we feel, and we wonder, “Who do they think they are?”

And we miss their message.

Likewise, I think that I’ve been afraid of being the messenger of accountability that gets shot – or worse, unfriended on Facebook.

I think that when I know that I need to say something to someone about sin, I also feel guilty.  There’s the guilt that comes with calling someone else’s cards when I know all too well which ones I’ve been holding.  I am bothered by the speck in their eye as I happily ignore the 4×4 hanging out of my own.

In Matthew 7:5, Jesus says:

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

So maybe the ability to call sin what it is all starts with the honest evaluation of ourselves.  And yet, that still doesn’t explain why culturally we turn a blind eye to the sin that’s all around us.

I think that too often we dismiss and explain away our own and each other’s sin with the excuse, “if that works for you and makes you happy, it’s no big deal…”

Right?

But it IS a big deal.  When we make it okay for us Christians to sin, we make it okay for everyone else.  We claim “political correctness” and “tolerance” to justify our positions toward sin.

This is wrong.  And cowardly.

The Bible is very clear on what sin is.  We can’t pick and chose and pretend that it doesn’t.

Instead, we need to speak the truth, in love – Just like the Bible says.

The key is owning up to it, calling it what it is, and inviting everyone back in.

That’s what Jesus did.  He called it sin.  He died for us BECAUSE of our sin.  And then He invited us to come home.

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About Jefferson Drexler

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