Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sin is never good but God is always good.

1. Sin is never good. It's a violation of Gods design and always creates pain, suffering and hardship.

However God is always good and redeems all our messes, bringing about our good in and through all things.

2. God is always good and redeems all our messes, bringing about our good in and through all things.

However Sin is never good. It's a violation of Gods design and always creates pain suffering and hardship.

I mention two key principles in both statement 1 and 2 above. Note I simply reversed the order. Am I saying the same thing? Why did I say it this way?

I did this because it's easy to emphasis sin's destructive nature to such an extent that we loose sight of God's working in and through all things. We can take the view that we have messed up (or our lives are messed up) beyond God's ability to redeem it, wallowing in guilt, shame and self pity.

Or we can emphasize God's working to such an extent that we forget or downplay sins destructive nature. Some may try to argue if God is going to use our mistakes for our good anyway, let's make more mistakes. After all, you can't out sin the grace of God (the last sentence is true by the way).

Whenever we deal with truths in tension it's easy to fall to one side loosing sight of the other. Emphasizing each while not ignoring either is important because both are equally true.

Regarding the tension between sin's destructive nature and God's working in and through all things, it is vital that we understand on the one hand, that sin is not less of a problem and not less destructive simply because God redeems it for our good. Joseph wound up being rejected by his brothers and sold into slavery due to his arrogant boasting of his vision. Jacob walked with a limp for the rest of his life due to his wrestling with God. Sin (self centered, manipulative behavior) still has it's consequences.

While on the other hand, no matter how bad we mess up, God is always bringing about his perfect purposes through all the choices of those who love him. The good, bad and the ugly ones. 

God is a God of grace, using and working through all things to bring about our highest good and his greatest glory. The the eventual outcome of the life of Joseph again comes to mind. 

In fact the consequences themselves become the very means of God's using it for our good, so he might wean us from sin's destructiveness.

If you are more of a moralist you will likely fall on the side of emphasizing sin's destructive nature. As you come to understand the extent of God's grace you may tend to fall on the side of emphasizing God's working in and through all things for our good. Again, both are true, but not to the extend of excluding the other.  

Exceptions to the rule.

The exception to the above is sometimes God in his wisdom and mercy will at times spare us the full repercussions of our poor choices. While at other times in His wisdom he will allow the full weight of our poor choices to fall on us and bare their bitter fruit. It seems he tends to do the former when we are younger in the faith and the later as we mature, but there are always exceptions in both cases. Generally speaking it seems as we grow in our walk with the Lord, it often requires more, not less trust in God. Therefore our struggles seem to increase instead of diminish. Certainly an awareness of our weaknesses (our internal challenge) is keener, if not our actual circumstantial challenges.

Why God's children disagree.

I think this is also why there is often debate among Christian's on how God works. Because some experience God working more one way then the other, they tend to argue more from their experience without considering that God may not be working in someone else life exactly the same way. God works with all of us according to where we are in our own personal walk with him and the level of trust we have in Him at that particular time.

I think part of the disagreement between groups is due to our self centered nature. We tend to assume we are the center of the world and God works in the lives of others exactly the same way he does in ours. Because of this we tend to gravitate to others that have had similar experiences, discounting those who have had a different experience. It then becomes an us vs them mindset.

Why we disagree with ourselves

Also some are inclined to think that the joy that often accompanies a young Christians experience is the norm, so as they mature, they spend their life trying to recover that seemly careless bliss of their early walk with God and are puzzled when they find life seems to get more challenging not less. 

God in his wisdom works with each of us exactly as he deems best, according to where we each are. When Peter inquired about the status of another disciple, "Jesus said to him, 'If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? You follow me!' " John 21:22  And so there we too should leave it.

For a further discussion on guilt and shame click here

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping by. Feel free to leave any comments, questions or thoughts and I will try to reply within 48 hours.

If you like our posts please feel free to subscribe to our blog and recommend others to the same. Just click on the home page at the far left of the navigation bar up top for instructions.

Grace to you
Jim Deal