A Brief Primer on Sin – Part 3


Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture
primer.jpg
Matt. 18.1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest
in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst
of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like
children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles
himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 “Whoever
receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of
these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a
great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the
sea.

Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from Scripture Now the root of sin as we have seen
so far from this incident is the sense of “self” most of us are longing for so
deeply. Most typically, the female of the species locates that sense of self in
being loved. On the flip side, the male tends to find it more in being respected.
We can argue about whether or not those are right desires merely corrupted by
the Fall, or new, corrupt desires engendered by the Fall – but either way, we
must deal with them. Here is where the rubber meets the road. Where we are
most wont to be found harboring ill against another. Wherever and whenever we
do not receive either the love or respect we imagine we are due. This “need”
being left unmet, becomes the hardest of all wounds to bear. It becomes the
place where we are most revealed. Most vulnerable. To which, there seems
to be no end of sinful responses. Everything from seeking the love or respect we
need in work, sex, drugs, booze, accomplishment – or whether we try to drown
it out with all of the above or more, or, if we try to simply deny it, and become
hard, callous and indifferent. Whatever your particular response or mine – one
constant runs through them all – they are responses of pride. Aimed at getting
what is “rightly” ours. Thus once again, the child Jesus’ brings into their midst.
Here too, we finally get a grasp of the nature of God’s own, Jesus’ own humility,
and the source of His absolute ability to love as He did. His humility was not a
false one, needing to be self-deprecating. His was genuine – knowing full well
who and what He was, but not taking His cue about it from any other source but
one – His Father. And so we see Him humbled and humiliated everywhere, and
never once demanding to be respected according to who He actually was. He
sought not the glory of man on any count – though He deserved it all. But He did
not “need” it. He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, yet did not grasp
after it. But rather, humbled Himself. And if you would lay down your weapons
of war – this is where it must take place. You will never be free to love freely,
until you do not need to be loved or respected, in order to show it yourself.

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