Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Sin that so easily besets us

I really wish the apostle had actually said what the sin that easily beset us is. It seems to be a collective sin. In context, it seems as if he's talking about unbelief. But, honestly, since we are always told to be loving and to be forgiving...it's possible that the besetting sin is a lack of love or unforgiveness.

So, because I'm not too sure what the collective besetting sin of humanity is, I'll choose (in this post anyway) to talk about the besetting sin of unforgiveness.

It is a hard thing to live in this life, in this world. Cruel people exist. And good people can be cruel to us for various reasons. Sometimes it's a case of "they know not what they do." Sometimes they just don't consider us worthy of their kindness. Sometimes they do know what they are doing (in the earthly sense anyway) but they don't know in the profoundest spiritual way the effects of their cruelty upon others and upon their own lives.

Whatever the reason folks have wounded us -- or we have wounded others-- we have to reach a place where we must forgive. Because God is love and we must be loving as well.  This is a hard thing because God can really afford to be loving. Yes, yes, I know... Jesus came and died for us, etc. Jesus suffered in his love for us more than we can know, etc. God can be hurt in His own way because He is a Personal Being, etc. But really, in the long run...compared to us humans, God can afford to be hurt. So it's easy enough for Him to forgive.

For the human heart --especially the sensitive human heart, especially the kind human heart--  sustained love for one's enemy, sustained forgiveness, sustained loving prayer for those who are wounding us, sustained commitment to keeping an open, inviting, loving heart....is very difficult.

But we must do this. We must learn the Christian response of forgiveness whenever we are wounded. We are not to be footstools. We are to be wise as serpents. But we are to be harmless as doves. We are to so train ourselves that whatever cruelty comes at us, our ultimate (if not immediate) response is to refrain from any evildoing, evil thinking, evil speaking on our parts. Worse (or is it better) ....we are to leave the situation praying for them.

If there is one thing Christians in our time need to understand it's this: prayers are left unanswered if we train our hearts to be closed and unforgiving. Spiritual growth is minimal if we allow ourselves to close our hearts to others. It is a terrifying and sad truth. And Lord knows, I would rather keep my heart closed to certain people who have wounded me. But I want God to think of me as His true loving daughter. And I want my prayers answered.

Anyway, the idea of forgiveness is the key part of the poem that will be found in the appendix of The Constant Tower. A hard poem to write...but will see.

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