What is sin?
Many of us would say something like “it’s missing the mark set by God.” While practically true I’ve found it to be increasingly less helpful when we can’t seem to decide what that mark is.
We don’t need to think hard to find vehement disagreements in Christian circles around what “the mark is.” So many of the issues the church talks about (read, argues like children) come down to differing opinions on sin.
One thing I don’t find a lot of disagreement about is the result of sin. Sin equals death. Now what death means and the imposition of some kind of post death justice is not even sort of clear even if you yourself think it is.
But there is this funny little part of sin we seem to all agree on. Sin, while we can’t define it, causes death and after death something happens but we also can’t decide on what that is.
So let’s talk about death since there is some semblance of agreement on that.
Death is horrible. It is darkens in its purest form. It is the result of the brokenness that now ravages this world. And while we may hate that people die, do we hate the one who dies? Especially if we really love them?
No, we grieve.
The more I struggle through this idea of God and hate the more I wonder if God responds to sin in us the same way we do to death.
Death is loss.
Death is disconnection.
Death is the severing of relationships.
And that all sounds a lot like what sin does between us and God.
Because of sin we are disconnect and it was sin that severed our perfect relationship with God. And so how does God feel about the parts in our lives where sin still has control? Does he hate those parts of us or does He grieve the loss? The loss of perfect relationship, grieve the disconnect it causes, grieve the trauma He knows the sin will cause in lives.
While we may hate an idea I think when that idea takes on a face, if we truly love that person, our response is no longer hate but grief over the profound loss that sin causes.