Thursday, July 16, 2009

Better Sinners? (Or, the whole point of this blog)

“This time I’m going to do better”.

The words come muttered with determination: filled with equal parts guilt and gratitude. I’ve just sinned. One of my favorite temptations came along, I saw it for what it was, but I let it get me anyway. No major felonies; just a reminder of my messiness. And now afterwards, my conscience feels bruised, my spirit feels sheepish, and I struggle to convince myself that next time I’ll do better.

I remember once as a child asking my parents once if grown-ups ever sinned. I recall them smiling and trying to explain to me that sometimes grown-ups lost their tempers or did things to hurt people. As a pastor and his wife, my parents knew full well the darkness that still lurks in the sunniest Christian adults. But it was difficult for me to imagine the grown-ups in my church still struggling with sin. From my elementary-school perspective, sin was something eventually to be outgrown, along with the need to go to bed at 8:00. I just had to wait.

You know...I’m still waiting.

It helps me to think about the recovery movement. Alcoholics Anonymous and other groups have helped millions come to terms with addictions that won’t go away. The idea is simple: while an addict won’t be done with the addiction in this life, he or she can still become free from it. The addicts learn to allow God to lead them into a new life that is no longer at the mercy of the addiction. A recovering alcoholic will say that while she is still an alcoholic, she has not had a drink in a decade. Still an alcoholic, but a much healthier one. A better alcoholic, one might say.

What if we looked at sinners in the Bible like this? What if Jacob’s history of deception or David’s relapse with Bathsheba or Peter’s denial were somehow part of that same process of God allowing us to hit bottom, acknowledge our helplessness and finally turn to His higher power to be set free? And what if we viewed the Christian community as a network of “sinners anonymous” groups? That'd actually be pretty cool. name’s Ron, and I’m a sinner.


  1. Hi, my name is Angie. I'm a sinner. :)

  2. Hi, my name is Jeany, and I'm a sinner too.

  3. Hi, my name is Greg and I like muffins!!
    Also, my sinfulness makes you all look like small potatoes, so take heart!