John Wesley is quoted as saying that humanity has a “bent towards sinning.” We, like the Apostle Paul, “have the desire to do what is good, but 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.” (Romans 7: 18b-19)
This evil, this sin, is not a list of rules to follow; it is not as simple as “right vs. wrong.” In fact, the superficiality of the world is the true sin that is destroying most of God’s children. (That’s another post!)
Sin, translated “to miss the mark” is whatever separates us from what God wants for our lives. For some it is anger or the love of money or power or hate or gossip….the “vice list” can go on and on. But the good news is that when we fall, when we go to the depth of this sin, that’s when we find God and God’s love and grace pour over us.
You see, God loves us with a love that is so amazing it is, for me, almost indescribable. It is a love without judgment, without conditions, without a time limit. It is a love beyond all measure. In fact, God sent God’s Son, Jesus into the world, not to condemn, but to show humanity the fullness of God’s love.
Why, with such examples, do we struggle with Love so much? I think perhaps it is because it is so much easier to think of God as Santa Claus – with a list that is checked off for those who are naughty or nice. It is easier to somehow think that “there are those out there who sin worse than I do.” It is for some reason very difficult to believe that we could be loved that completely, with no strings attached.
I am saddened today that my home state is struggling greatly with this idea of unconditional love for all of God’s children. I am saddened that the world struggles with this. Even at the United Methodist General Conference last week, there was so much “hate speech” toward “others” that love did not abound.
Jesus told us to go and love others. First to love God with all we are, and then to go and love others as ourselves. And how we American’s love ourselves! But somewhere along the way, we have forgotten how to love someone else that way; to love someone who is different from us that way; to love someone that we disagree with that way; to love – unconditionally and completely.
Instead, we have become great at rules and regulations that continue to separate and divide us from entering into relationships that can build on God’s love.
Perhaps this is the human struggle. But I for one, refuse to let anything but love light my way. While I am saddened by the actions of those who cannot grasp the true meaning of God’s love, I continue to love them. While I am saddened by the hate and divisions that are so prevalent among us, I will continue to promote love and positivity instead of the negativity that comes when love is absent.
Until we, as followers of Christ can love in the face of lovelessness, the world will not be able to see God working in and through us. Let us unite in the power of this true Love.