Burning the Right Way
Last night I received a short and sweet revelation.
You see, the past few months, I’ve been inundated with a fresh hatred of sin. Words cannot express how much I loathe moral failures, selfish endeavors, indulgences, satanic plots, etc. Not to sound as if this is a recent development, but the level of repulsion has indeed raised lately, no doubt due to an increase of awareness concerning its sly and destructible nature.
But I wonder if a righteous passion should ever be primarily rooted in hating sin, hating hate - even if that hate owns necessary property within. Should there exist a healthy unsettlement that overtakes us when disgust seems to be dominant over love? Should we live our lives with the burn set more in the direction of adoration and grace as compared to the despising of wickedness?
In other words, which should be the leader: A love for faithful righteousness, or hate of its opposition? Well, certainly the correct answer is the first option, with the latter branching off of it. Clearly finding a holy balance is key. We should always detest transgression, but we shouldn’t let a hatred of past iniquity be the driving mechanism to why we live the way we do. If we do, how are we not avoiding the rear-view mirror perspective?
We’re called to abide by grace and allow it to transcend our actions. Otherwise we run the risk of dwelling mainly on how we do not want to be. This can bear more serious consequences then we realize, such as missing out on hearing the voice of God, reaching out to another (potential self-centered struggle), or experiencing a manifestation of the Holy Spirit.
Bottom line: a seemingly appropriate odium of sin can venture the edges of shame and take pieces of our focus away from God. And shame should not be underestimated, as it joins with pride as the top two byproducts of the self-absorbed lifestyle. Please note I am not advocating taking sin lightly by any means, or suggesting we do not take seriously the call to analyze our hearts. But where lays the brunt of our burn? Where does grace fit in concerning our approach to loving the new life in Christ versus the dead version Jesus died for?
As David Nasser says in “A Call to Die”, “Our motives for obedience are clarified. Grace turns a teeth-gritting, ‘do or die’ attitude into a thankful, ‘do because He died’ gratitude. We obey out of love, not because we’re afraid” or because we’re furious with ourselves or another. We live out of love, not hate. Dealing righteously with sin in our personal lives does not mean we have to let it dictate our motions and steps.
May you realize how to prioritize love and hate in your life, keeping love as the forefront, the desktop, AND screensaver of our lives. Let the handling of sin rest in the light that God still loves us in spite of weakness. As Nasser continues, “The more we are aware of our sinfulness, the more we will be aware of God’s grace! The law was added so that the trespass (and our awareness of sin) might increase (Romans 5:20).”
* In the divine sense of the word