Friday, March 07, 2008

Levels of Drowning?


Recently a friend on another blog talked. This is the "meat" of her musing..."I have been thinking that it's easier for people who have lived the life fueled by hedonism to understand the grace of God so much better than those who haven't and possibly have a deeper understanding of who God is b/c of it. Don't get me wrong, I don't regret NOT having a lot of regrets, but sometimes I feel like my relationship with God hovers in the shallow water when almost every strong Christian (with a "past") I'm close to has this deep water level with God."


I am a picture person so picture this with me. Three people are drowning. One is 1 inch below the surface, one is 6 feet below the surface and one is 12 feet below the surface. If they are not resuced they will ALL DIE! However close or far they are from the surface they know without RESCUE it's hopeless. The person one inch from the surface is no less drowning than they other two.

If they are not rescued, is any one of them more dead than the other? Nope. Dead is dead regardless of the depth. Now imagine they are all rescued! Is any one of the three resuces less dramatic and miraculous? No.

Because when you realize you are in over your head it does not matter how far you are down. That's how it is with sin. Good people don't go to heaven because they are good enough or less bad. The chasm between Christ and us is just the same for everyone...

So maybe it's not about "bad sinners" versus "good guys", maybe it's how we look at the whole concept of sin. Sin is defined as "missing the mark". The mark is defined in the Bible as the 10 Commandments.

Do you really know ANYONE who has kept all 10 Commandments? Have you? Really?

Take this simple mental test: Have you ever looked at someone of the opposite sex and thought Wow wish they were mine? Took a piece of gum without asking or robbed change from your mom's table? Guess what? That makes you by your own definition a coveting thief. Oops. now you've admitted you have broken at least 2 of the commandments.

Ever told a "white lie" you know just a litte one? Uhoh, you have now broken another one of God's laws. Thou shalt not lie. Ever talk back to your mother? Honor thy father and thy mother...

So by your own admission, you have broken God's laws. And God's righteous judgement demands payment. If God's righteous law demands payment, then how are you going to pay? By being "better" or "good enough"? You already know that's not possible.


The person who "told a white lie" and the person who "slept with his friend's wife" are all in the same boat. There are not levels of sin (missing God's mark) any more than there are levels of drowned. The guy who drowned 1 inch from the surface is as drowned as the person 12 feet below.

So, back to the question of BIG sinners having deeper relationships with God, that won't hold water. What may be true is some of us think we're just a little better than others. Or to put it another way just a little less bad than others, so we coast on our goodness.

But we can't can we? My last thought on this comes from the Scriptures...Isaiah 64:6 says it best. For we have all become like one who is unclean [ceremonially, like a leper], and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away [far from God's favor, hurrying us toward destruction]. (Amplified Version)

So, fellow swimmers, regardless of how close you are to the surface or how far down in the water you are...reach for the only Life Buoy we have - Jesus Christ! And, don't forget to be thankful!!!


1 comment:

The Clarks said...

love your blog!! :) very interesting, I don't think that people who have more to be thankful for have deeper relationships "just because" they have more to be thankful for.... it's just that they are aware of all that God has forgiven them and in our society of justification- it seems like there are "lesser" sins- though as you pointed out- sin is sin.
If God forgives the guy who cheated on his wife, he forgives me thinking a bad thought just the same. Consequences obviously are very different, but being forgiven by his wife (and God)- he is extremely grateful for that, where I may forget to ask God for forgiveness for my "small" sin. My life can hover in the shallowness of these sins that can be justified away or forgotton- however wrong. The extremity of sins being forgiven makes one, in my opinion, much more thankful. I'm not saying that is biblical, I agree with you, but this is what I was talking about.
For the first time in my life, I finally understood the way God views sin. I've always, in a rather first-child kind of way, never seen myself on the level of a murderer or a child rapist- but SIN is SIN. I DO NOT give Summit milk products ever. Ben fed him some ice cream. I flipped out and told him that it's not the fact that he gave him just a little, it's the fact that he did give him ANY. That is how God sees it. It's not the fact that you thought a bad thought that condems you, it's the fact that it is still a sin, No matter how small. I think we're on the same page theology wise, we're just looking it from different sides!!