Week of Monday, September 20th - Friday, September 24
We live in a world today where social media can mask our true selves. It can be an outlet for empowerment, fulfillment and creativity, but it can also create a façade. For example, someone might post a smiling picture of themselves when going through a tough time because it makes them feel more connected or it brings them back to a happier time. And this is fine. But we also must remember that these are mere snapshots of our lives. That the people we see on social media are not perfect, just like us, and are often dealing with real things, like divorces, miscarriages, abuse, feeling like a failure, a break up, an addiction, the death of a loved one, and more. Not only that, but we all have insecurities and we all let ourselves (and others) down in different ways.
Sin is a really difficult, touchy word. If you're not a believer, you might be wondering what even is sin exactly, or that people just use sin as a way to judge other people, or that I'm a good person, so I don't really sin. A long time ago, I decided to believe that sin is anything that keeps us away from God. If God is love and goodness, sin is simply something that separates us from goodness. For example, greed, lust, worry, lying, and cheating can all be sins because they divide us from truth and goodness. Sin can be a scary word, but the truth is we all sin, and it sucks.
Sins are different from mistakes, and they aren't mishaps or regrets, though they usually are that too. Sin is basically us humans in a nutshell. It is the way we let each other down, and manifest hurt and evil. It's judging someone for the clothes they wear, while lusting after another man or woman. Can you think of another example? Maybe it's perceiving your co-worker to be rude or lazy when it's you who leaves early some days or replies with a certain impatience. There's a verse in the Bible: "You hypocrite. First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother or sister's eye" from Matthew 7:5. Another saying goes, "When you point a finger, just remember three are pointing back at you." I'm sure at some point, we have all been the bad guy in someone else's story no matter how pure we think we are. I don't give these examples to pit people against each other or to make us feel guilty, but to remind us that we are all human and flesh. It is us to bring light and truth and justice to one another. No one is better than another, and it is God who truly knows our hearts, our thoughts and our desires. God knows our heartbreaks and our struggles, and this why He brings us peace and forgiveness. This is why we experience mercy when we do so much wrong over and over again, and why life keeps moving forward. When we do wrong to someone else, we are doing wrong by God. As I always say, we are all connected.
The reason we can keep on living, keep on moving forward, and keep having faith is because God is greater than all of these sins and mistakes. The bible says Love covers a multitude of sins and that if we love our brothers and sisters, we fulfill the law. So when going for that promotion, when fighting with your significant other, when judging another, when feeling temptation, when having impure thoughts, or when feeling bitterness or jealousy, remember who God has been to you, and how you've been shown grace and mercy and love by God and your friends. Ask God to give you the courage to ask forgiveness or admit your shortcomings. God is an amazing, powerful, loving God, and desires us to be content. I'll leave you with a beautiful verse to help you when you find yourself being your toughest critic, when you have sinned, when you feel regret, or when you are in pain: "Children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in actions and deeds. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God and whatever we ask, we receive of Him". 1 John 3:18-21
Have a wonderful and blessed week!