Thursday, March 11, 2010


This has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. It's probably going to seem scattered. I'm trying to muddle through it all.

The dictionary definition of "sin" is 1. transgression of divine law; 2. any act regarded as such a transgression, esp. a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle; 3. any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, lapse, etc.; great fault or offense.

As a teenager, I was told by a trusted adult that sin is "anything that separates you from God." I believed that was the complete definition of sin and used that definition, time and again, to do things I wasn't supposed to be doing by reconciling it with the fact that I attended church on Sunday mornings and evenings and on Wednesday nights. I was involved with a very committed girls' Bible study group. I led my own Bible study groups. I participated in Vacation Bible School and church camps and retreats and went on mission trips. I had a regular Quiet Time and set aside time to pray. The things I was doing weren't "separating me from God" because I was still spending plenty of time with Him.

But...that's not the whole definition, is it? Isn't sin disobedience to God? Isn't it sinful to turn away from His commandments even if we reconcile it with "extra" church or prayer or other acts? And I'm well-aware that if you are truly connected to God, you'll see the line that is there. But what if you don't? What if you've been led to believe that acts are what God is looking for? What if you've led yourself to believe that acts are what God is looking for.

All of this stemmed from a phone conversation with Eddie earlier tonight when I was driving home from Tifton. We have some friends who are frustrated with a situation at our home church. We are frustrated with that situation. The conversation that Eddie and I had led me to remember a conversation I had with an individual many, many years ago but I remember it like it was yesterday. Those were this person's exact words to me - "Sin is anything that separates you from God." I came to later find out who this person really was - a disappointment to me and to many others.

I'm not writing this to sound preachy, I'm writing it because it's just occurred to me. How often do we sin but not feel too bad about it because it's a "small" sin or it's not hurting anyone else or we're going to church so we're entitled or because it's something we've done for the past thirty years? Whew! I'm praying that God will open my eyes to these types of sins in my life. I know they're there and I need to break free from them.

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