There really is only one sin—separation from God. Every other thing that we label sin is merely a manifestation of the state of being separate from God. If we were living in God, with God or in Christ’s mind, how could we hurt someone else, reject another human being, judge someone else? Or do anything that would fly in the face of God’s laws and commandments?
There is a difference between being separate from God, the one sin, and making a mistake or a momentary lapse. God knows that we are not wholly his while we live on this earth, but if we live in God, in the mind of Christ, if we are surrendered to Him in everything, then God is forgiving us and making up for whatever we do that is off. Or He is enhancing the impact of what we do, working on the people who are on the receiving end of our giving, helping them to receive our gift more fully. God is making the difference between what we do and say and the effect it has on everyone else.
I know. I know. If we listen to what our minds are offering up, we’d never feel like we do anything right! Even Paul in Romans 7:15ff reported these thoughts/feelings about himself: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” And he was the one who preached the Gospel around the Mediterranean Sea and established the church of Jesus Christ!
But the mistakes we make or he made are not the whole truth about him or about us. Listen in God’s word, for example in the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 6:25-34 where Jesus says “Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink…your clothes…but seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself…” Jesus also tells us that if we take up His burdens we will find them light and easy to carry because He is helping us to carry them. [Matthew 11:30]
God is spinning in His favor all that we do and say and how people react to us for the truth. Not that those reactions are always positive, but we can be sure that they have the effect intended, because of God’s intervention for us, because of the Holy Spirit’s care of those we are trying to help. This is the truth, once we have centered our lives in God and allow Him to lead us in all that we do.
Our being centered in God is where we find the courage and faith to follow His lead, where we are able to do as He suggests. Being centered in God means that our hearts and minds and souls and bodies are centered there, too, open to all that He blesses us and graces us with, open to all that he challenges us with, open to all He asks us to do.
If our identity is in God, then we are forever in His care, His protection, His presence. We can always access Him when our minds wander or think world-based things. We can rest there forever, knowing that no matter what happens in our lives, we can absolutely trust Him to lead us to where He wants us to be.
What I am writing about goes beyond fear to total trust, the kind of trust that we need to be reminded of periodically. A recent example from life is this: I have discovered that I am a closet perfectionist, especially obvious when I am driving—I am judging, condemning of other drivers and what they do and even hoot when something really off happens, like when a delivery truck recently turned right from the left turn lane across traffic! And I ignore my own lapses.
I am not a perfectionist, I do not dwell in details; in fact, I think the fear I have lived with all my life is the result of having two parents who were. Knowing I would never measure up to their standards, I chose as a child to live in anxiety about myself and to second-guess everything I do. But there it is: I now see that I am hounded by perfectionistic standards!
So now what do I do? In quieting my mind so that I could hear God’s “still, small voice,” I have greatly reduced the inner perfectionist’s influence over me. But as it became obvious, I set an intention to no longer be ruled by this inner perfectionism, because I feel that it does limit my relationship with God, now that I see it. And I know that the Lord will now help me by healing this tendency and transforming that energy in me into positive, for-God energy.
This is how we can manage our tendency to distrust even our relationship with God. If we will put ourselves in His hands and set our intentions wholeheartedly on keeping our relationship with Him primary. Then we have a wholly different kind of relationship with the Lord. And we no longer suffer from our separation from God, we are no longer sinning against Him.
Questions to ponder over the week: How am I doing in the relationship with God department? Am I rebellious and unwilling to give my life to Christ or have I given over so much of my life that I am no longer a sinner? Or, am I a sinner or just making mistakes sometimes? Have I forgiven myself and learned to love all that I am, sins and all? What is God saying to me about my sins or my relationship with Him? Have I fallen into His arms or am I still standing at the door and knocking?
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who have a deep relationship with God. May we not trip over our own mistakes, forgiving our humanness. May we be all His!
Check out the archives of my blog going back to 2011 on this page.
My new book, “Exodus: Our Story, Too!”, is available at amazon.com. Its thesis is that the Exodus story reveals an invitation for us all to give our lives over to Christ in the deepest way possible and the template for how to do that. The author’s name is my full name, Patricia Said Adams.