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March 29, 2006

The Illogic of Sin

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:23

The wages of sin is death--possibly the eternal death of punishment in Hell. But there is a more immediate implication as well. Each time one sins, one alienates oneself from God; one turns one's back on the good, the true, and the beautiful. And for the duration of the time that one's back is turned, one is dead to some of the truth, beauty, and goodness of the world. Sin deadens the sensibilities until it becomes nearly impossible to say what is sin any more.

Sin delivers a double whammy--one offends God and one steals from oneself. All the time spent pursuing the illicit good of sin, the small pleasure that may come from it, is time that is not spent in pursuit of the real good. This may not seem like much, but as with watching television, an hour here, an hour there adds up to a fifth of a lifetime with nothing to show for it.

Sin is so interesting because its illusory pleasure dims with each repeat of the action until the person committing the sin no longer does so for the pleasure, but out of sheer deadened habit. At the same time the sensibilities are so worn down that what once cheered and gave cause for rejoicing now activates a dull echo in the deepest chambers of the heart. Our longing for God becomes a mere dull ache that is terribly hard to reawaken.

But take heart. God promised His people:

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh Ez 11:18

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Ez 36:26

Twice within the span of a single prophet, and many other times, God promises redemption from our own hardened hearts. He will give us one heart--His Own heart, the sacred Heart of Jesus that bleeds and is wounded for all of humanity--this is the heart that gives life, that breaks the chains of our bondage to sin, that strikes off the shackles we have so willingly taken onto ourselves. God speaks, it is He who promises redemption--He redeems our stony hearts and gives us hearts that can feel again. When we turn even a little bit, when we even desire to say yes, when we hearken enough to the grace that He showers upon us moment by moment and turn to Him, He can make real blood come from a stone. Just as He caused water to flow from the rock, He can cause our hearts to beat once again with His blood and His life and His redemption for all.

We may be dead in sin, but we are not without hope, for God dogs us, chasing us through the years and the passages of our lives, waiting always for us to turn and accept the embrace of Love that gives life.

Posted by Steven Riddle at March 29, 2006 9:28 PM

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Truly beautiful...thanks!

Posted by: Essy at March 30, 2006 8:34 AM

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