I’m not perfect – when I was in school my hair refused to be tamed or contained and my shirt tail never would stay tucked in. Now I’m older I have given into the windswept look and I have decided that life is too short to straighten hair. Being perfect can be tiring! Actually, closer to the truth, putting on the appearance and pretence of being perfect is tiresome and draining. In our airbrushed have-it-all and do-it-all society weakness and failure is not an option. In my previous post on Gluttony I mentioned that we tend to skirt around the obvious issues and avoid calling a spade a spade. This was not perhaps my most popular post and was a bit too harsh for some people’s taste. The fact is that when it comes to sin we are all in the same boat – none of us is better off than the other. If we claim to be perfect we are lying.
1 John 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
When I mentioned gluttony it was because it was an issue close to my heart (or my stomach!) but I could have said the same about so many other sinful behaviours that have crept off the list due to political correctness. It feels to me today that weakness is either not tolerated or our sins have been upgraded to be not-great-behaviour-but-acceptable.
Why is it that we are scared of sin? I don’t think our fear of sin is because we are in awe of God’s holiness – if that were so we would be seeking to live more righteous lives. Instead I think we run away from the label of sin as we don’t want to be seen to be weak, we don’t want to be ashamed and we don’t want others to use our weaknesses to hurt us. What we need to remember is that we are all the same; none of us is in a position to condemn the other:
Romans 2:1 You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
So what should we do – we know we shouldn’t go around pointing out each other’s short comings but maybe we can acknowledge and share our own. If we can speak out our sin and struggles maybe we can support one another.
James 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Maybe by bearing the shame of our sin and failures quietly and in secret we are hurting ourselves more than we think we will be hurt by others knowing. Maybe in speaking and sharing there is healing?