Swimming Against The Stream (1)

It’s not unspiritual to talk about sin!  Jesus spoke about sin.  I counted Him using the word thirteen times in Matthew and fifteen times in John.  The apostles of Christ spoke about sin.  In John’s first letter, he mentions sin twenty times. It’s unspiritual to dwell on sin as though that is the only issue the disciple faces, but we must talk about it!

There’s a sense in which sin is always “in” for those who are borne along by the world’s currents. There’s always some justification for it—it’s politically correct, we’re genetically predisposed, or it’s just the cool thing to do. Not so for the disciple of Jesus. We’re against sin because it’s against God. And though it might seep into our lives despite our best efforts, we refuse to compromise, concede, or grant it any right to be there. And we will continue to swim against the stream until we see Jesus.  

There’s sin and then there’s sin.  By that I mean there is sin that isn’t you and sin that is you.  Sin that isn’t you is sin that you don’t struggle with.  Due to a combination of nature and nurture, you’re wired in such a way so that it doesn’t appeal to you and you’re not really tempted by it.  That’s not to say it can’t happen, just that you’re not bent in the direction it would have you go. 

The sin that is you is a different matter.  (Someone told me they didn’t like calling it that because it made it too personal, but that’s just the point—we need to take it personally).  Like certain foods you have a taste for, there seems to be something in you that responds to such sin.  James speaks of it as our “own evil desire,” (James 1:14). For whatever reason, it has its hooks in you and traction in your life.  Those who struggle with some kind of substance abuse would be an obvious example, but that could also be highly misleading because any sin—be it behavioral or attitudinal, can plow deep into our lives. 

For example, suppose someone is extremely sensitive to what others think about them so that they suffer more when slights, insults, or rejection comes their way.  This could make it more  difficult for them to forgive others than someone not as sensitive.  This becomes their “sin that is you,” because it corresponds to who they are.  If someone says they have no “sin that is you,”—they probably lie about other things as well or are in deep, deep denial.  That’s what John says (1 John 1:8,10). Thank God there’s more to the story than just labeling sin and our involvement with it for what it is.  Click here for some help God gives us in swimming against the stream.

Odds & Ends


Published by A Taste of Grace with Bruce Green

I grew up the among the cotton fields, red clay and aerospace industry of north Alabama. My wife and I are blessed with three adult children and five grandchildren.

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