Sunday, June 17, 2007

What Color Is Your Sin?

I went into the hardware store one day and asked the clerk for a gallon of black paint. The young clerk, who I doubt had even begun to shave, said to me “What color black?” I stood there stunned and replied, “BLACK.” He looked a little bit too happy as he smiled and said “flat black, black luster, black bear, midnight black, jet black, black bird, Asian black,” and on and on he went. At that point I must admit I wanted to change my color choices to black and blue!

Have you ever noticed how we like to change the color of our sins? The Bible clearly shows that God cannot look upon sin or hear sinners. Isaiah 59:2 says “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.” John 9:31 also says ”Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him.” Additionally, Psalms 66:18 says “If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.” No differentiation is made in any of these verses as to what sins will cause God to turn from us – they’re all included in those statements. Yet, as a society, we have created a color chart for sin:

Murder - Jet Black
Child Molestation - Midnight Black
Spousal Abuse - Outer Space Black
Adultery - Charcoal Gray
Stealing - Dolphin Gray
Premarital Sex - Dove Gray
Gambling - Powder Gray
Drinking - Silver Gray
Lying - Misty Fog Gray
Gossiping - Pale Horse Gray

We tend to judge the sins based on whether they effect us. For example, lying isn’t that bad, unless you’re the one being lied to. And likewise, adultery is just a “moment of weakness” unless you’re the spouse.

We also tend to hold those sins that are our own at the bottom of the color chart, tinted with much more white than the sins of others. Ask anyone with a drinking problem if they think drinking is wrong, and you’ll most likely hear a lot more than a simple “no” – you’ll hear all the reasons why they believe it’s okay. But God’s color chart for sins is different:

Murder - Black
Child Molestation - Black
Spousal Abuse - Black
Adultery - Black
Stealing - Black
Premarital Sex - Black
Gambling - Black
Drinking - Black
Lying - Black
Gossiping - Black

Make no mistake, your sins do not go unnoticed nor unpunished by God just because everyone else is doing the same thing. God holds us all to His standards, not that of the world of sinners. No one, including yours truly, meets God’s standards. In Romans 3:23 it says “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

There are no personal sins either. Every sin you commit hurts someone else. It may be that person who’s watching you to see what Christianity is like, or it may be a relative who has to endure the pain of watching you fail. Ask the mother of a drug addict about her pain, or the father of an unwed pregnant daughter. Your sins are never personal.

King David was an awesome example of a sinner! He looked upon Bathsheba with lust, had her brought to his bed, committed adultery, got her pregnant, tried to hide it, had her husband killed, and went for at least a year without asking for forgiveness. But when he came to the point to ask for forgiveness, David came clean with God. He didn’t make excuses. He didn’t tell God it was Bathsheba’s fault for bathing outdoors, or his servants for bringing her to him, or that he had an uncontrollable sexual addiction for which he needed counseling. He simply said, “I have sinned”. And when he asked for forgiveness, God willingly gave it.

But the consequences for his sin were still charged to him. King David paid for his sin with the loss of the child conceived out of his affair with Bathsheba. Imagine how he must have felt knowing that a newborn baby was going to pay the price for his sin. Imagine the days to come and the times he would think about it being the child’s birthday, how old the child would have been, and the longing within him to correct Bathsheba’s pain.

Even from this distant place, not knowing who you are as you read this, I can assure you that you are a sinner just as I am, and that our sins are not personal. For those around you whom you love, I beg you to seek forgiveness for your sins – regardless of the color you have assigned them.

Lord God, draw near to us and hear our cry. We recognize dear God that we have disappointed you, our faithful Father, time and time again. Lord, we sin so often that sometimes we fail to even acknowledge our wrongs as sin. Lord, bring them all to mind that we may ask forgiveness for them. Cleanse our hearts dear God, and hold not our sins against us. Bless us Father with your loving grace. Amen.

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