A Deeper Look At Sin

Chaplain John DeBlieux
Walker Baptist Medical Center

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course, you fail the test?”  (2 Cor. 13:5 NAB)

Do I need to regularly examine myself and repent of my sins? Overall my sinful symptoms have gotten better over the years. But I’ve taken a deeper look at sin. First what is repentance? I seem to not know how to repent; for my repentance is cold and careless. Through prayer and study I’ve come up with four root sins that show the sins I’ve been repenting of are but symptoms of these. My repenting of resentments, sexual temptations, pride, etc. are but symptoms of these four.

1 - I don’t love God. If I did, God would be like a girlfriend I couldn’t stop thinking about, not the ‘got-cha god’ of my imagination. I think of earthly things with eagerness while thoughts of God present difficulty and dryness. If I loved God my prayer would nourish and delight me and lead me to union. Instead I spend hours on useless occupations. I limit my prayer to a maximum of thirty minutes and being in His presence sometimes seems like a year.  I’d spend the entire day unceasingly thinking about a girlfriend--- imagining being with her, worrying about  her--- no matter what I’m doing, my loved one would never leave my thoughts. Yet in a day, do I spend an hour  pondering God? I love vain conversation, but am I not dry,  and  bored in prayer or church? I can listen to every word of a three-hour movie or a press conference by Nick Saban, but get bored hearing about God. St. Basil the Great stated, “The evidence that man does not love God and his Christ is that he does not keep His commandments.”

2 – I do not love my neighbor. I’m not willing to lay down my life or even sacrifice my peace and  my happiness for his good. If I did, his misfortune would grieve me. My enemy would be someone I fast and pray for, in tears of love.

3 – I do not have faith in spiritual realities. I barely believe in immortality or in the Gospel. If I firmly believed  in eternal life and in retribution for my actions, the very thought of immortality would inspire me with wonder and awe.  I would live my life as an alien who is getting ready to enter my native land. On the contrary, I barely think about eternity and I consider the end of my life as the limit of my existence. I nurture a secret thought, “Who knows what will happen after death?” My preoccupations with earthly cares with worry prove this! If I accepted  the holy Gospel, I’d be constantly pondering it and it would be my daily spiritual bread. Instead I feel  indifferent to it, and receive worldly reading with greater satisfaction. Now be honest, doesn’t Alabama or Auburn football generate more passion?

4 – I am full of pride and self-love. My actions confirm this. Look what I’ve done; I’m better or at least as good as others. I excuse my vices. I fain innocence or say I couldn’t help it. I’m impatient with those who don’t show me respect and look down on them. I’m vain and I can’t accept my failures. I grumble and am glad of my enemy’s misfortunes. I expect praise, earthly comfort and I make an  idol of myself. I seek sensual delights and try to nourish my carnal desires--- i.e. gluttony: Do I live to eat, or eat to live? A look in the mirror answered this, caused me to lose fifty pounds and be healed of sleep apnea.

In conclusion: I am proud, fleshy, with weak faith. I barely love God or neighbor. The state of the spirits of darkness is better than mine---they do not love God or man and are nourished by pride, but at least they believe and tremble. However, thank God I have a Savior!! Do you need to regularly examine yourself and repent of your sin? Will You? I will! 

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