Sin, transgression, iniquity… whatever you want to call it, the concept that we do wrong on a personal level isn’t very popular any more. In our ultra tolerant age of moral relativism, we dare not call someone else a sinner, let alone deal with our own mess. This is screwing a whole generation up! But the reality of our brokenness comes back to bite us on the arse on a daily basis. We may want to do whatever feels right, but short term pleasure can lead to long term pain. A quick affair – marriage breakdown, excessive drink and drugs – addiction, obsessive materialism – emptiness, self fulfilment, selfishness, self gratification – loneliness… The consequences are real.
I am increasingly led to believe that at the heart of our Christian faith is human flourishing. That in the process of becoming a child of God through faith in Jesus Christ, we become more fully human as we turn away from sin and enter into the life of our saviour. In others words we turn from our old way of life and the things that God despises, and embrace new life and the things that God loves. The fruit of a life filled with the presence of God is the development of a new self, infused with the love, joy, peace and grace of God.
Psalm 32 might provide that very template for you. “Blessed is the one whose sin is forgiven.” You become blessed by going to God for a new start! So if you are ready to acknowledge your sin to God (as the Psalm goes on to suggest), you will find a loving God who forgives your mess. That is what the author King David found after his adultery with Bathsheba. And in that acknowledging, confessing and receiving of forgiveness we find the beginning of new life.
No one wants to go through life carrying the baggage of our self inflicted mess. And yes the gift of life from God will spark a whole lot of other things like seeking forgiveness from those you have hurt, forgiving those who have hurt you, and developing new ways of living. But it starts with coming to God… “help me, a sinner, in need of a fresh start, thank you…”