Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Sin is an Empowering Word: Part 1

All of us know there is something amiss within us. And although society and the self-esteem movement would have us think otherwise, we all, like Miss Clavel in the story Madeline, know that,

“Something is not right. Something is quite wrong.”

Why else would self-improvement seminars, life-coaches and counseling for individuals, marriages and families continue to thrive?

Grit by Angela Duckworth is number five on the New York Times Best Sellers, and has been on the list for nine weeks.

One review of her book states that, thanks to the author, “social and emotional education appears on public school lesson plans throughout the country,” and her book teaches “the cultivation of tenacity.”

In order for this book, and thousands like it, to sell so well, the purchasing public must be admitting that something is, in fact, lacking.

Yet I would surmise that the truth still isn’t going to be revealed in Duckworth’s (or the thousands like it) book, because although “tough love” is apparently promoted, God’s-love isn’t. And although people’s shortcomings will inevitably be pointed out, sin will not.

In the book of Romans we find this truth:

“But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:21-23

I grew up in a denomination that does not believe in sin.

Around the time I turned 38, the Lord began to open my eyes to the false teachings I had been fed, and He used, among other things, a Godly man on a Christian radio station.

I tuned in every day at 9:00 am to listen to this Biblical pastor’s teaching, and was soon sitting with a notebook, writing down almost everything he said. One day, as this man was explaining sin, I stared out the window, and, in inner exclamation, became suddenly cognizant:

“That’s my problem! Sin! Sin is my problem!”

I mark that moment as one of the most empowering of my life. I soon came to fully grasp that not only is sin my nemesis, but Jesus is the conqueror.

Finally, the years of inner disquiet and self-loathing—and my single-handed attempts to eradicate them via self-help books, Taoist ideology, women’s liberation dogma and self-actualization, were over. The cage door was opened as I took Jesus’ hand to freedom.

copyright Barb Harwood

(Part 2 of this post will appear tomorrow, July 13, 2016)

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