Monday, November 12, 2007

My Sin - Your Sin

By Guest Blogger - Todd Dufrene

There are two types of sin in this world. Any one reading this who is a Roman Catholic would say "of course there are two types of sin, mortal sins and venial sins". I don't know about that, I've never been Roman Catholic, and I'm not much on splitting theological hairs. None the less, in my world there are two types of sin, my sins and your SINS.

You see, my sins are cute and cuddly. No big deal really. Sure they are a nuisance occasionally, but God understands. He winks at them and says "come on, you know we need to do something about this, right? Ya knuckle head". Then He sighs and rolls His eyes at me, musses my hair and grins that bemused, knowing, Ward Cleaver, 1970's-TV-sitcom-father grin. Then He goes about His fatherly duties (reading the paper and and commenting on how good dinner smells) confidant that I have learned my lesson.

Then there are your sins. Ugly, hideous, hellish atrocities that, by all rights, should bring down God's immediate wrath. Seriously, there should be a big, smoldering crater where you now stand. How dare you escape unscathed. You should be scathed ... or smote ... or something. In the Old Testament, you probably would have been stoned, or cut off from your people, or at least struck with leprosy or blindness or halitosis, or some other really nasty malady.
And yet, there you stand, apparently unmolested. What was God thinking? Did He let you off on some technicality? Was there a clerical error? Did you put one over on Him? Did His all seeing eye blink?

I can't quite wrap my mind around this one. My understanding of the coexistence of God's justice and God's mercy must not be quite perfect yet. I would love to help you see more clearly just how horrible your sins are, but I seemed to have misplaced my spectacles.


Janet Rubin said...

Fun post. I agree completely. I deserve some serious smiting via lightening bolt or otherwise. Thank God He loves me too much to do it. I see two kinds of sins too: the ones Jesus paid for on the cross, and then mine-- which are of course far too horrendous for His death to possibly be enough to cover them...
Will we ever "get" it?

Mark Harbeson said...

Interesting post. It's so easy to judge others and let yourself off the hook. We all need to thank God for His grace and mercy.

Kay said...

Big sins/Little sins; BAD sins/not-so-bad sins; Yours/Mine; Outward sins/Inward sins; Comission/Omission.
Here are the sins God sees:
unconfessed, unrepented sins.
That's it. The rest are gone. Whew.

Jerry Pat Bolton said...

There was a time when I lived this philosophy. This is the mindset of the ego. Spirituality hardly even enters into it, except, of course when we point fingers at "those" sins which are not our own. The difference in your trespasses and mine is that I know my own heart and feel that I am a "good" guy, whereas your heart and soul is suspect. Ah, but the horrible truth is that we DO know our own hearts and most of the time it is darker than we let on, even to ourselves. The overriding complexity of this dilemma, of course is that God knows our heart also. He knows all of it. In the Old Testament you say we would be stoned . . . I'm sorry to say it, but stoning goes on as we speak . . . Of course Christians are not the ones stoning, but they bear the brunt of it more often than not. You struck a nerve, Dayle, I am even writing a book about my own sins of the flesh and spirit as you know.

Dayle James Arceneaux said...

I think that's exactly what Todd was saying, Jerry.

It happens on many levels of course, especially in the church.

Especially when the 'sin' is a visible one - such as divorce(not necessarily a sin for both parties, but often treated that way) or out of wedlock pregnancy.

I can almost hear their thoughts: "I may sin, but I know I'm not as bad as that person. Look at all the good things I do. I gave a homeless guy a quarter. I made a casserole for last sundays church function. I . . ."