Saturday, July 26, 2008

But it's Ugly.

Last week, the pastor of our Young Adult Ministry delivered a lesson on Sin. You know, a light, easy topic. Everyone's favorite. Brad challenged us with some tough things to think about...

Sin is anything that I give higher value than God.
It is not just the doing of bad things, but the making of good things into ultimate things.

There are lots of good things - friendships, talents, abilities, gifts, work, children, hobbies - that are good, in and of themselves. But when I love them more than I love the Lord, when I give them the ultimate place, they can manifest sin in my life.

With careful and intentional planning, Brad didn't talk about redemption. Even though sin and forgiveness go hand in hand when they are coupled with repentence, we can often lose sight of the magnitude of our sin, in a faith where grace abounds. So, he didn't want to go there yet. Before we talk about the forgiveness of sin, let's think about what we are really doing; what is more important than God?

To drive the point home, and to focus our thoughts throughout the week, Brad gave each of us a black string to tie around our wrists. He wanted us to be reminded of our sin, in a tangible way - right there in front of us, everyday.

And so I did. I tied on my black string, and I thought about it all week. In very timely moments, I realized what and whom I was giving an ultimate role in my life. When this black string is dangling from my wrist, it's hard to ignore what my hands are doing, where my thoughts are traveling, and who I am serving.

But here's the thing... I'm a bracelet girl. I wear one everyday. I collect them. It's what I do.
And the string? Well, it just didn't go with them. Many times, I thought of cutting it off. It was a distraction beside my cute little accessory. I had learned my lesson, after all.

Sin. Bad. Ugly. Right. Got it. Check it off The List.

But the scissors in my hand gave me more to think about: I didn't want this ugliness hanging around my wrist, because it detracted from the bracelet I wanted to look at instead. I didn't want to think about sin; the string caused me to think through the motions of my day and the motives behind my actions, which are often more easily ignored.

I wanted to cut off the string, because it was ugly. But I couldn't do it on my own; I couldn't maneuver the scissors to get it off. I want to cut out the sin in my life, but I can't do it on my own. It's bigger than me. It takes more than me.

It's ugly.

All because I wore a black string around my wrist... a simple something to magnify the greater somethings that deserve a closer look.

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