I sin. Do you?

1 John 1:8 – “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

The obvious application is in the recognition of our own sin. The idea that God knows anyway, and I’m better off if I simply acknowledge my sin so that I’m in the same place as God so he can work with me more easily.

But what’s resonating for me with this verse right now is the idea of transparency and vulnerability. And thinking about it in the workplace environment from the point of view that we all mess up. ALL OF US. And people that can admit this are attractive to me. People that cannot admit their mistakes really get under my skin.

Just own up to it. It has often been said that Americans are a forgiving people (think Bill Clinton). If you just admit that you screwed up, we can all work on a resolution together! But if you dig in your heels and refuse to acknowledge you’ve made a mistake, you’re just making the situation worse. Now…if you do this ALL THE TIME? You’re building an army of people who can’t trust you.

Now…as I’m typing this, I think it’s obvious that I’m thinking about one person in particular. And I am. But I’m also feeling convicted that this must be me, too (even though I claim transparency as one of my personal strengths). But there’s the old adage, “If you spot it, you’ve got it.” I wonder what it is about this behavior irritating me so much…what does it reveal about me? I’ll have to chew on that for a bit…

I sin. Do you?

Romans 7:18

“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.”

This is the current memory verse for the Bible study group I’m a part of on Monday nights. Some days, it’s easy to agree with this verse without reservation. Other times, I get into a little self-debate about the “nothing good dwells in me” part. [I’ll remind the reader that I have NO training in exposition or anything like it. These are untrained thoughts.] I feel like Paul is writing this with the understanding that he means in me apart from God. When submitted to God, I don’t think this is true any longer. But submission to God, as I am acutely aware, is not an automatic state even after conversion.

Warren Wiersbe BE Bible series commentary:

The legalist says, “Obey the law and you will do good and live a good life.” But the law only reveals and arouses sin, showing how sinful it is! It is impossible for me to obey the law because I have a sinful nature that rebels against the law. Even if I think I have done good, I know that evil is present. The law is good, but by nature, I am bad! So the legalist is wrong: The law cannot enable us to do good.

Romans 7:18

#ScriptureSunday Micah 6:8

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So, after today…I’ll generally be choosing a verse that spoke to me in my quiet time at some point during the week. But for my first #ScriptureSunday, I want to share one of my favorites.

In general, I’ll try to avoid typing a sermon…I’ll try to limit it to some quick thoughts and leave it at that. And even today, I’m going to TRY to not go too long.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.

My main thought is this: that’s impossible. At least, in myself, that is not possible. I don’t do what is right (nor act justly). I don’t love mercy (I mean, I love it when applied toward me, but not so much for others). And I don’t walk humbly. And not with God, either. Of course, I have my good moments. I’m not beating myself up here, just acknowledging that these words don’t sound like good news to me.

But I don’t think we’re supposed to try to do all these things in our own power. I’ve been on this spinning orb long enough to know myself. And I’m still getting to know God, but what I have learned is that He knows I cannot live up to His standard. That’s exactly why he sent His son. That’s why Jesus died for us. Not so that I can now earn my salvation (as I believe I was taught), but precisely because we are not good enough.

So I have to admit that the genesis of this post is rooted in a little bit of contempt for my Christianese-speaking brethren who quote this verse like it’s their motto for how they live, or something. And I’ll grant you that this admission probably reveals some work I need to do on myself. But when I read Micah 6:8, I’m reminded of an old Out of the Grey song (they were my jam in my early Christianity) called “The Weight of the Words.” I’m not sure I’m going to be putting it back in my playlist (it’s a bit dated), but I’m going to pop this here for you…maybe the lyrics will mean something to you:

The Weight of the Words – Out of the Grey

Thanks be to God for his great gift.

#ScriptureSunday Micah 6:8