in the pleasures of sin
blanking out the wrong
enjoying the illicit
caught in the moment
imagining that is all that is
But as pleasure fades
which it always does
awareness of wrong seeps in
the trickle becomes a flow
the flow becomes a stream
the stream becomes a flood
Battered by waters of guilt
memories of pleasure swept away
leaving shame washed up on my shore
Short term pleasure
becoming only guilt
As I see the depth of the wrong
in the pleasures of guilt
I don’t get sin. Oh, I do it. And I like the classic definition of missing the mark. Not hitting the center of the target may not please you, but it doesn’t end the world. So why does God view sin as so…well, sinful? Worthy of death? Separation? He’s always required a life for us to gain forgiveness, either the earlier annual animal sacrifice, or that of his Son, Jesus. He doesn’t mess around with it, does he? But if we just focus on this, we get frustrated because can’t follow his command that we “must be holy.”
But, he also tells us if we confess our sins, we have forgiveness. Pretty easy. “Yeah God, I blew it again. I was wrong.” Boom, it’s gone. And if we just focus on this, we miss the essential evil of sin. The ease of confession can lead to taking it easy on our doing sin.
That paradox bothers me. Both are true. Both seem contradictory. But maybe, rather than explaining what can’t be explaining, can we just accept it? Live as if both are true. Yes, sin is terrible Always. Yes, sin is forgivable. Maybe we can open the game with the first truth—and using God’s Spirit to avoid sin and move from it. But when we fail, we avail ourselves of the second truth.
In the poem, I said I “exult in guilt.” I do. Honest. Guilt reminds me that what I did violates the character of God. It forces me to my knees in confession. Without guilt, I’d keep taking sin lightly. And I love God too much to do that.
Kick Starting the Discussion
What sins seem to nail you, maybe repeatedly? What sins do you take lightly, knowing forgiveness is easily available? On a practical level, how can you embrace both truths, the evil of sin and the ease of forgiveness?