Who Am I After I Sin?
Stop hiding and blaming others when you sin; repent and be forgiven.
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Last week we started a series called "Wicked." We're attempting to wrestle with one of the defining realities of our life: we screw up. We fail. We do the wrong thing. We don't just make mistakes. If you're just a mistaker, you just have to do better. But we aren't just mistakers; we're sinners. We intentionally do things we know we shouldn't.
That creates a problem. It does for us, and it did for the people in the Bible. The Apostle Paul writes, "I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do …. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing," (Rom. 7:14-15; 18-19).
Have you ever been there? I have. Actually, I'm there right now. If you are, too, it raises all kinds of questions, like these:
- How do I live with my sin?
- How do I understand it?
- What do I do with it?
- Why do I sin over and over again?
- What is it doing to me?
- Where is God in my sin?
- How does he look at it, feel about it, react to it?
- Is it okay if it's one time, but after a while—particularly when it's the same sin, over and over, does he give up on me?
- Does he turn away in disgust?
- Does he withdraw himself from my life?
- Is my relationship with him over?
As I've wrestled with this in my own life, and worked with others wrestling with it in theirs, there are four big questions that include all of the others:
- Who am I when I sin?
- Who am I after I sin?
- Who is God when I sin?
- Who is God after I sin?
If we let the Bible answer those questions for us—let God really say to us what he wants us to understand—it will be life-changing. Last week we tackled ...
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James Emery White is founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a consulting editor to Leadership Journal. He is author of Serious Times and A Search for the Spiritual, and blogs at churchandculture.org.
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