Christians worry a lot about sin, about we measure up, how well are we doing? Looking around the world today we can see the corruption, the destruction, the waste. We can see the sin. Seas of plastic, land devoid of birds and insects, air more and more polluted. The way people fight against each other, tribal warfare based on no more than greed but wrapped in the cloak of tribal language. Religion; ethnicity; culture all blamed for atrocious behaviour. No wonder fewer and fewer people see the relevance of Christianity in today’s world. They say – how can there be a God with all this sin around us?
Christ’s principle aim was to lead us back to the way God intended us to live. He wanted to help us realise that the way of life we had developed wasn’t the one God hoped for us. He wanted to show us how we could have a fuller relationship with God and it wasn’t about us being punished by God.
To start on this way of life we have to first acknowledge that the way we are living isn’t the way God hoped we would choose. He had hoped we would stay with him, alongside him living our lives together. We didn’t. That was our choice, the point at which we each wandered off on our way, following our own cultural, religious, tribal ways. That is what we need to understand and say sorry for.
Don’t think the act of saying sorry is about gratifying the person you say sorry to. It’s not. It’s about personally admitting we were in the wrong. God does not need us to say sorry to him for his sake. Whether we are sorry or not he will continue to be who he is. He wants us to say sorry so we realise what we have done and face up to it. That inherent human wilfulness that drives us forward into situations we cannot handle or control.
Once we have done that; admitted to ourselves and to God that we have got our ideas of how live upside down and inside out, from then on our past mistakes are irrelevant. Our future mistakes are inevitable, given our human nature and they will have consequences. They will not break our relationship with God from his point of view.
We should not live our lives as Christians constantly looking over our shoulders. Held back by our past. We are expected to look forward and move forward with constant reference to God.
You might want to think about this short prayer
Father Remind us each day to set sin aside Prevent the insidious nature of sin From dominating our thoughts and our actions. Sin is in and from the broken world around us The world driven by sin-full thought. Reach out to me and hold me strong in your love Take my sin-full thoughts and set them aside and set me free to live as Jesus has shown me to. Amen.