Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sin, Honesty, and the Experience of Grace

The real experience of the grace of God is forever inhibited if we will insist on jumping over the God step.
There are two most certain states we all experience in the assimilation of our sin within: 1. We deny it and tend to blame circumstances or others, especially if we have an external locus of control, and 2. We condemn ourselves for having sinned, having not known the grace of God that covers us.
The step missed is the God step.
Between the two poles on each end of the revelation-of-sin continuum is a place we may call the God step. That is, where we might sit intentionally in the discomfort and awkwardness and embarrassment of it all, to then find the grace of God wash over us as we relate with God by not hiding our sin from him or deploring ourselves for having fallen.
These are two great tragedies: to deny the sin ever happened, or to minimise it, and to be under our own condemnation, which is to pay out on ourselves, so others don’t need to.
If we can be courageously vulnerable in the midst of the terror of our sin – to bear the pain that the sin is now right before us – then we are helped in our healing, because we have been honest. God really does bless obedient honesty.
If we take this step, not denying the reality at truth, we do two things. Firstly, we don’t jump the God step, which is to sit in the midst of the muddiness of our sin, dirty, but at truth. Secondly, we don’t wander off into self-condemnation to justify the sin we couldn’t deal with. Self-condemnation is harsh in that it cannot access the free grace of God that is so necessary for feeling forgiven for the sin, error, or mistake entered into.
If we don’t deal with our sin in truth we cannot access the experienced grace of God.
A core reality for any Christian is this: be honest about sin to receive the grace so urgently required for our healing.
Two destinations of coping send us into the graceless nether land: denial of responsibility for sin, and its opposite, the berating self-condemnation for having sinned. To enter into one is to possibly enter into both.
To go to the Source for healing is to not miss the God step: to be honest about what’s occurred and to experience grace by what God is saying – “You are forgiven.”
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.

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