If you were to name the top 10 sins for a Christian to be aware of, what would they be?
I was cruising the news earlier today and found the New York City Ban on Outdoor smoking quite amusing. Ok, I know, thousands of people die of smoking, second hand smoke, and related issues; but when I read the sign above, "No Smoking Within the Plaza" I laughed out loud. Something as American as smoking is now ban in the most absurd place, OUTSIDE IN TIMES SQUARE.
And then I started thinking…
There's probably a moral crusade happening to ban smoking on the basis of sin. I mean, there are probably thousands of people sitting in their rocking chairs tonight applauding the City of New York, not on the basis of health, but on some religious ideal that might take shape like this, "Well, it's about time those people repent." HA!
Ever been to a church before and heard people whisper under their breath, "I saw him smokin outside the lumber yard. Can you believe that? I wonder if he's even a Christian?"
I remember growing up in a church where that was the case. Smoking = Sin.
Now, I don't know what you think about smoking, other than it's scientifically proven to effect your lungs and the lungs of the people around you; but how many of us have these carefully crafted sin lists we try to manage so we can be 'better Christians.' It's almost as if there's a way we feel like we can impress our peers, or better yet,we fell as though we might be able to impress God with the ability to maintain a level of clarity in our sin column of life.
What is that all about?
Didn't Jesus die for our sin?
Doesn't Grace Cover the entirety of sin? Or is it limited to the way we can abstain from our impulses?
I think it's impressive to see Jesus tell stories of those who he chases after, obviously living a lifestyle contrary to what we might think is true to the gospel i.e., the adulteress woman, the young prodigal son, the man who lost his sheep, and the woman who lost her coin (luke 15) But he doesn't stop there. He intends on reconciling the Older Brother, th Men intent on stoning the adulteress woman, or even the disciples who over and over again lost their ability to understand His grace.
Jesus' grace was not only for the sinner, but for those who claim to be righteous, and tend to fail in their own list making and managing. He extends grace and freedom to those of you who don't do Quiet Times. His grace is big enough for when you don't make it to church on Sunday. It's wide enough to cover the time you said a word that might make your grandmother blush. It's big enough for the drug addict, and its big enough for the righteous.
The key is believing it and living it.
May you reach out today and live under the umbrella of God's grace, no matter what story you're living.