The Effects of Sin
I wonder how often we, as Christians, consider the effects of sin. I know that we focus quite a bit on sin – just watch the news to see the number of “God Hates Fags” demonstrations; think about your reaction when you see two men walking down the street holding hands; think about…you fill in the blanks.
But how often do we meditate on the effects of sin; effects that we live with every day? This question has weighed heavily on my heart lately. The other night I was walking home from my son’s, Lucas, Little League baseball game. We had to park a long walk from the field because there were several games going on when we arrived. As Lucas and I were walking to the car, I noticed a man talking to his son, and then the son walked off with his mom. The man just stood there and watched the two of them walk away. I said, “Hello” as I walked by and he responded with tears in his eyes and a break in his voice. We exchanged other pleasantries, and Lucas and I continued our walk to the car. As I drove off, he was still standing by the car watching an empty parking lot.
Now I don’t know the whole story, but I was moved by this man standing and weeping as he said goodbye to his son. As I was preparing my sermon for the upcoming Sunday, the contrasting picture of me driving home with my son and the man watching his son drive away kept intruding on my thoughts. I tried to study the picture away, but it stuck there; I was a basket case over this scene in a parking lot. So I stopped my preparations and asked God what he wanted me to do with this. I was tempted to give the always-correct, Sunday School answer – Jesus. But, as true as that answer is, using it as a cop-out didn’t answer the question in my heart.
Then it hit me: we yell, scream, pray against, etc, the sins of this world; but most of the time we do not grieve the effects of that sin. As you consider the picture that I have briefly painted, does it break your heart to think on that? Or have we become so desensitized to broken homes, people dying of AIDS, mothers who made a choice, and all the blatant, heinous sin around us that we no longer consider the heartbreak inherent in those situations?
Now, before I get off my soap box, I must confess that I, too, feel the anger and revulsion at sin. But this picture that I have stuck in my head from the other night has helped bring to my mind the idea that I should grieve the affects of sin as much as I should speak out against that sin. And maybe that grief will help me to temper my ‘calling sin, sin’ with the love that God showed in sending His son to die so that he could defeat sin in this world.
Jesus, as savior, truly does answer this situation. It is his loving act on the cross that not only reconciles us to God, but also has the power to reconcile father & son, husband & wife, mother & daughter, any broken relationship there is. I will have an opportunity to get to know this man better – his son is on Lucas’ team. I pray that God breaks my heart for this man and his son so much that I can’t help but share God’s love with them.