When was the last time you grieved over your sin like you grieved over the death of a child? Here’s my story.
Not too long ago I woke up wondering, “When was the last time I felt the tragedy of my sin like I felt the tragedy of human suffering?”
I mean…I get horrified at the thought of my daughter being sick. Horrified at the thought of a good friend’s son getting cancer.
My stomach dropped when I heard the news that Stephen Curtis Chapman’s five-year-old daughter was accidentally killed.
My heart sank–slow to recover–when an 8.0 earthquake killed 68,000 people in China.
My stomach dropped when a cyclone barreled up a Burmese delta and killed at least 146,000 people.
It doesn’t matter what it is: Swine flu epidemics. Leukemia. Child prostitution. Massacre. Drought. Poverty.
Dreadful events plaguing humans.
Yet I don’t have this same horror for sin. I don’t grieve over lying, cheating, cursing, lusting, hating, bickering…or simply neglecting time spent with God…like I should.
Carlton Pearson grieved over the tragedy of human suffering. And he walked away from that experience embracing the idea that after death hell doesn’t exist–we live in hell now.
A very modern, new school view of suffering.
Here’s the problem with that idea: It suggests we weren’t created to enjoy God. It suggests we were created to enjoy ourselves. This is a gospel that plants man at the center of the universe…
Not God at the center.
So, how should we respond to sin? Isaiah demonstrates an appropriate, old-school reaction:
And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”
Note: I carefully chose the word “reaction” over response.
Response indicates a deliberate, sometimes thoughtful choice. Reaction indicates a involuntary, instantaneous but predictable response.
When we stand before God, we won’t get to choose our response. We’ll immediately feel how insufficient our wretched condition is…and collapse.
It would behoove us all to cultivate that sense of insufficiency now. To cultivate that deep grief for our sin so that we may resist spiritual stupor and instead savor, enjoy and promote the mercy of God all the more.
And don’t worry about remaining in this morbid state for long. God’s grace will quickly console and comfort your broken heart. He is your steadfast love. Your salvation.
So, what’s your response to your sin going to be?