Monthly Archives: October 2012

Sin is bad, but there’s something worse

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Sin is bad.

I learned that early on.  With a Southern Baptist/Primitive Baptist background, I was privileged to get this fundamental point even before I hit my teens.

Today, I still agree, often with deep regret, that sin is bad.  However, more than that, instead of seeing through a microscope, each little sin and counting it bad, I see through a telescope that shows me it’s worse than I thought, it’s all bad.

Anybody out there with me?  I sin.  That’s bad.  Even more,  I’m through and through, in every realm a sinner.  That’s a real bummer.  Like finding out that Darth Vader was Luke’s father.  There was a “line” of bad, really bad, breathing loudly & scarily, that defined Luke more than all his valiant efforts.  Bummer.

Sometimes, as I have seen my sin nature more and more, I have struggled.  Sin is bad.  I not only sin, but I am a sinner.  Therefore, I am bad.  Yeah, sin is bad, but there is something worse.  Living there.

The worst is never knowing, believing, understanding the unconditional, non-condemning, Romans 8 love, power, forgiveness, purpose of a Father who knows our sin better than we do (I Jn. 3:20, “in whatever our heart condemns us…God is greater than our heart, and knows all things”).

A pastor recently shared a great example.  What if years ago you inherited millions of dollars and put it in the bank.  Since then, you have been struggling financially to make ends meet, to pay your bills, try to help your children, struggling constantly trying to figure out ways to make it all work, never drawing on the millions you had in the bank?  This is how we live when we do not recognize, believe, live in and bless God for everything amazing He has given us in Christ Jesus.

Are you trying to make ends meet spiritually?  Just go ahead and stamp bankrupt on yourself!!  Then, by the power of God’s great Spirit, continually withdraw from His account the freedom, hope, value, encouragement (etc) we have in Christ.  “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom. 8:31).

Generosity and being a mom….

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A group of young moms sit and share their struggles: sleepless nights, serving when sick, the “2:00pm slump” in the day, handling tantrums, picking up the thousandth cheerio, repeated schedule changes, serving husbands after a full day of serving young ones, a desire to go somewhere without spit-up on their shoulders, discipline and training, the physical rigors of pregnancy, and so on.  As they share, I am sympathetic.  I know they are in a season of constant giving.  Then I think of my own situation as a mother of teens and twenty-somethings and realize the demand for mothers to give is never-ending.  It causes me to reflect on recent sermons, and our pastor’s encouragement to memorize I Timothy 6:17-19 on giving.

“…do good, be rich in good works, be generous and ready to share, storing up for [yourself] the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that [you] may take hold of that which is life indeed.”  I Timothy 6:18-19

gen-er-ous:  liberal in giving or sharing; unselfish; free from smallness of mind or character; magnanimous

Often the word generous only brings to mind the giving of money, but Biblically and by definition, generosity applies to all areas of our lives:  our use of time, our thoughts toward others, our long-suffering in endless giving, our grateful hearts, and our giving of forgiveness, patience, and love.

Mothering demands giving–ceaseless, often thankless, giving:  Laundry, meals, dishes, carpools, loss of sleep, picking up the cheerios and driving lessons.  For those with daughters, it might mean listening, for those of us with sons, it might be giving space.  For all of us, it means giving time on our knees!  It is generosity emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.

How can we give, give, give without demanding in exchange?  (often, sadly, we demand from our husbands!)  How can we give without feeling like we “deserve?”  Is it really possible to be “free from smallness of mind and character” 24-7?

The answer is found in Him who gave of everything He had to show us generosity.  He emptied Himself to make us full.  He became a slave to make us free.  He was forsaken that we would be accepted.  He became poor that we might become rich.  He was broken that we might become whole.

Jesus’ schedule was extremely busy.  He was often surrounded by crowds, touched constantly, questioned repeatedly, misunderstood immeasurably, hurt deeply, & awoken when sleeping.  He counted nothing too menial or too small for Him, like loving on babies when teaching a lesson or washing the feet of those who would turn away for a while.  It sounds a little familiar, doesn’t it?

Mother, are you weary in doing good?  Look to Jesus.  Commit your day to Him. Draw your strength from Him. Talk to Him and listen…and as you do you will “take hold of that which is life indeed.