Sin and Redemption
Open Your Bible
Jeremiah 17:9-10, Isaiah 64:6-7, Galatians 5:19-21, Romans 3:23, John 11:25, Ephesians 1:3-10, Hebrews 4:15-16, Romans 8:31-39
I have a favorite sin.
I want so badly to hate it, and sometimes I do. When I see its effects on the people I love, when I’m granted an objective view of its effects on my own heart, when I remember how utterly contrary to the gospel it is—those are the times my sin brings me to my knees. But on most days, any average, busy day, I ignore it. Not only that, I tend to it under the radar, taking care to subtly stoke its flame.
It’s the sin of self-absorption.
There are flashier sins out there, and I have plenty of those to repent of too. But my bent to only see the world as relative to me—what I think, what I need, what I hope, what I believe—has single-handedly caused more collateral damage than most of those other sins put together.
It is the sin I’ve used to belittle my children,
putting my need for space and silence before their need for love and listening.
It is the sin I’ve used to put off my friends,
glossing over their hurts and hard spots in favor of redirecting their eyes to my own.
It is the sin I’ve used to not love my neighbors,
ignoring instead of listening, choosing indifference over engagement.
It is the sin I’ve used to quench the Holy Spirit,
looking past conviction and clutching harder to my idols.
These aren’t just phrases on a screen. These are real choices made in real relationships with real people—people I’ve hurt in large and small ways when I cling to the shards of my shattered self instead of embracing the life Christ calls me to live. There are wounds I can’t mend, moments I can’t get back, words I can’t rewind. My sin is deep. My heart aches to think of the vastness of things done and left undone.
Scripture says the Lord examines our hearts. All manner of our sins are known to Him. And our holy God, knowing every ounce of our sin, must “give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve” (Jeremiah 17:10). And He did. But Christ intervened, taking the Father’s holy wrath on Himself.
When Christ went to the cross, He wore the dirty rags of my attempts at righteousness, the stench of my selfishness, the weight of my blatant refusal to worship my Creator with all that I am. He suffered, not because God the Father is cruel, but because my sin was heinous and merited punishment. He bled, not because He was weak but because I am. He died, not because they executed Him, but because a sacrifice was required. When Christ went to the cross, He left nothing undone.
I hate my sin. And I hate that I don’t always hate my sin. I am broken, not in a sweet, sentimental, sing-songy way, but in a real, painful, and pain-inducing way. I am broken in a way that often breaks the people around me. I am broken in a way that should, logically speaking, separate me from a holy God. But Christ’s death is not a legend, not a story we tell to sober us into false humility or ankle-deep love. No, Christ’s death is true. His death was full, complete. Our debt has been paid by Jesus’s death, and our hope has been eternally sealed by His resurrection.
I weep with sorrow for my sin. I weep with joy for my redemption. And nothing, not even myself and my sin, will ever separate me from the love of God in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:35). Thanks be to Him.