Rules and consequences easily set themselves up for hierarchy. They don't have to, but that is our natural tendency as sinful creatures--to set ourselves up to be served rather than to serve.
It's easy to take an item to the Jesus-counter, confess, ask forgiveness, then walk out the door with pockets, nooks, and crannies loaded with unconfessed sin. Sin kills relationships. Sin is more than a problem to be solved.
Jesus bore our sins. He is the theological (or Biblical) context for understanding this phrase. The historical context is punishment for breaking Roman law. Those who hung beside Jesus were guilty. "Bearing your cross" is carrying the weight, or living out the consequences, of your own guilt.
Where sin is involved, we should not be surprised but, instead, should expect the following responses. It is only by God's grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ that we run to Him when we sin.
So when we clean or cover up another's sin and remove consequences and the opportunity/need for repentance, we are not serving them. We may be serving ourselves without realizing it. We are not working with God, but against Him.
It's awkward when a couple is no longer a couple. How can church and family members respond, especially when they're in the same place at the same time? We want it to feel and look normal, natural. We don't want to withhold good or hurt people's feelings, especially when we don't know (or want to … Continue reading Now What?
Those who use power and control as weapons use them well. Think of hand-to-hand combatants in the movies: Matt Damon, Keanu Reeves, Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee. That's an abuser in a nutshell. It's what you're up against--what victims of abuse experience--only it isn't one scene and it's not a movie. It's real life. Over. And … Continue reading Repentance
Years ago while visiting a friend, the phone rang. From the far end of the house I heard a small, shrill voice rise and continue. "Aren't you going to answer the phone?" I asked. "Not yet," she said. The sound got louder and clearer, "Get outta the way! Move! Move! Move!" The young tornado ran … Continue reading Get Outta the Way!
We are all familiar with suffering the consequences of making a poor decision. Children refuse to wear the clothing their parents tell them to and suffer as a result. We like to think that those who cheat, lie, steal, and hurt others will suffer the consequences of their behavior, but we don't always see it. … Continue reading Unjust Suffering