I am very comfortable with Grace. I am also very comfortable with faith, and God's sovereignty. However, I do get a little too comfortable, and therefore have fallen into the category of comfortable with sin. YIKES!
One of the chapters contrasts how lightly we view sin today versus the Puritan era treated it. He quotes one of the authors from this day, Ralph Venning who said:
"Sin is vile, ugly, odious, malignant, pestilent, pernicious, hideous, spiteful, poisonous, virulent, villainous, abominable, and deadly."
As I read these words and pondered how evil the author was trying to describe sin, I felt his description came up a bit short. The description was probably more serious back then, but now almost seems comical- like a Dr. Suess book, so I came up with my own description of sin, and as I thought of it, what came to my mind was much more like a horror movie:
Sin is Disgusting, Noxious, Disturbing, Apathetic, Uncaring, Difficult, Shameful, A Cancerous Lesion, Deliberate, Robbing, Fearful, Dreaded, Unsettling, Upsetting, Sticky, Panicky, Time Consuming, Loathing, Empty, and Lonely.
What about you, if you had to describe sin, what would your list say? Take a few minutes and try this exercise too with me. Make a list of what you think sin is.
As I pondered this list with revolt, like you may be doing now, I continued on to the next line of the book...
"Those words (that you and I just came up with) describe not just the scandalous sins of society, (murder, rape, bigotry, malice, hate, fornication) but also the respectable sins we tolerate in our own lives. Tolerated sins like impatience, pride, gossip, resentment, frustration, and self-pity."
This concept hit me square between the eyes, as does this book. Of course I know that these things were not what God likes, but could I really accept that my chronic impatience with others, could be construed as: Disgusting and Disturbing?
The book goes on to make the definite distinction that there are levels of sinning, but that each subtle sin only leads to more sin. And all sin is viewed by God the same way. The way you and I have just described.
If you'd like to join me in reading this book during our upcoming Bible Study, and you're in the Dallas area, leave me a comment-- I'd love to give you the details on it!!