Friday, February 25, 2011

Tolerating Excuses to Sin!!!

I took a fast from twitter and facebook for a week, and when I came back tonight (2/25/11), this is the first thing I read. This will be the first time I've ever put a blog other than my own in my blogs, but it's so worth it! This blog was written by my big brother and person who inspired me to blog, Darrell James. I know it is long, but it is well worth the read for anyone claiming to be a Christian! I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me! Enjoy!

On Tuesday, February 22nd I did a status posting that I knew was going to invoke good dialogue between the ones who read it. Here’s the posting again for those who missed it: When I worked in the drug/alcohol field, we said that “once an addict always an addict”. I was talking with a friend and he mentioned giving into temptation also bringing up the song, “we fall down but get back up”. My humorous side responded, so once a sinner do we keep sinning just because God is a forgiving God (once a sinner always a sinner). He didn’t find it too funny. What do you think? SHARE LIFE-LET’S GO!!

Before I start I must give a DISCLAIMER (lol):
The purpose of this disclaimer is not to deny responsibility for what I’m about to write and share with you, or to cover up for anything you’re about to read. NOW LET ME CLEAR MY THROAT….. The purpose of it is to let you know that this is strictly my opinion on a topic and I do not claim to be a Mr. Know It All or that everything I say is GOLDEN. Nor do I claim to live a spotless and sin free lifestyle, YES I do sin and fall short of perfection BUT I strive to be more like Christ in my daily walk with Him asking Him to help me grow and remove my sins as not to repeat them. What you’re about to read was considered greatly and requested of God to help me express it diligently and without offended anyone who read it. (Whew, I’m already sweating and I haven’t even started to write yet, lol.) THAT’S ALL I’M SAYING, now let’s go……….ENJOY!!!

Sin is a big but small word, reminds me of an old song by Prince called ‘Sign of the Times’ where he says: AIDS is a big disease with a little name. Sin is a small 3 letter word that is so BIG that in the book of Genesis (v. 5-7) it speaks about God being so grieved at His heart about the sin of man that they were choosing sin and death instead of a relationship with Him, that He was going to destroy them (the story of Noah). Now take a moment to consider that this is just the book of Genesis and shortly after the creation of mankind. Now fast forward years ahead to current time and imagine the sins of the people of today, WOW. I’m just glad for His mercy and grace.

Now to give you more about what provoked this posting. I was talking with a friend on Monday and he was telling me about his disappointment in the area of trying to be a single Christian young man in a dating world of trying to find his mate. He was telling about how he’s tried staying within the church to seek out like minded women that were trying to walk the walk of faith. Within the last year of dating 4 different women he say that they tempted/pressured him sexually more than when he dated women outside the church. I went into how this didn’t give him an excuse to give in and then run crying to God for forgiveness. He said he had talked with an elder at his church about it was told that God will forgive him as well as the women for we’re not perfect and mentioned the above song. This triggered my funny bone and caused me to chuckle, saying what I had said, “so once a sinner we’re supposed to continue to sin and just take advantage of God’s mercy and grace because we know He’ll forgive us”. Let’s just say that our conversation went on for hours and ended with him asking me if I would be interested in talking with the elder at his church because of what we shared. This intrigued me to see what others thought of the discussion and I immediately wanted input from my FB fam, thus the status posting.

Now that you have that, let me take a brief commercial break to give you a little background info about myself so that you’ll know how my thought processes are formed. (Please keep this info private because once it comes out on The OWN Network and in my book I want everyone to at least pretend to be interested, lol.) I grew up 1 of 10 children to 2 of the best parents I could have asked for (imagine the assembly line for babies picking out their parents, yes I chose the ones I had, lol). They were both grounded in the church as my pastor likes to say, “from the old church” (big shout outs to my Pastor Keene and his leadership at KCC), Apostolic faith to be exact. My dad a bishop and my mom an evangelist, both great people in their time as they now rest in peace and shine through the legacy they left behind in the 10 of us. Well for me I grew up to dislike the fact that I was born in the church and forced to go because my parents went. Church was a priority in our house, when we weren’t there we were at home being made to do family prayer daily. I recall making a promise with a friend that I grew up with in the church that felt similar, we promised that once we were old enough to make our own decisions we wouldn’t step foot in a church again in our lives except for funerals and weddings (lol, this cracks me up now, however it happens still to youth that live similar lives to what I did then).

My mom being the praying mom she was talked/prayed to God so much that I thought at times she was talking to someone I never saw, now that I’m older and working in the mental health arena I’ve told people that she would’ve been diagnosed as schizophrenic, lol. I can recall times of hearing her cry out and running in the room thinking she had fell or one of my siblings were arguing about something. I had several talks of how I would never be able to run from God and what He had for me and I would think alright I hope He’s a good runner because I’m sure going to try to run and hide all the time, dodging under church pews, hiding in the balcony and trying to disguise my doings, lol. I didn’t understand scriptures like Proverbs 22:6 - Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. My pastor broke this scripture down during a message one service in a way that really Blessed me, which was during the upbringing of a child he/she may take you through hell in the process but if you continue to train them correctly as they mature they’ll grow into the knowledge of what they were taught. So here I am today a changed man and glad to say that I don’t only go to church for funerals and weddings no more, lol.

During my upbringing my mom drilled into us, “once you see the light walk therein”. Now for me I didn’t care about this at the time because if I was going to be walking anywhere and there was no light I was cool with using a flashlight to light my path, not looking at it spiritually. Now I know that she meant although we walk and live in a world filled with darkness (sin) once you see better walk better. This to me meant a lot because as much as I rebelled against church I actually learned and held on to quite a bit and as much as my siblings would tell you that all I did was pout and sleep every service, trust me IT’S NOT TRUE, lol. Yes, there was times my dad would get in his mood and make me sit on the front row thinking it would make me at least sit up and not lay on the floor or the pew pouting and I would do it and act like I was sleeping. In spite of this, I actually learned and retained some things. I never wanted to get involved in church if I wasn’t going to be sincere about it, I didn’t want to be the lukewarm or indifferent believer because of knowing how God disliked this. I didn’t want to plan my next sin while repenting or asking God for forgiveness (yes, this happens - Lord please forgive me for the sin that I’m about to do, knowing better).

I struggled with things I would hear, like we should be careful of the spirits we allow or invite into our lives knowing that everything carries some kind of spirit with it. For me music was a big challenge and I was a hip-hop head refusing to let it go until I discovered gospel hip-hop and it’s what I bounce to now as well as bits and pieces of other gospel varieties of music but it’s all stuff that’ll encourage and speak positively into my life. So as I said earlier: Do I live a sinless life? No, but I do strive to eliminate and avoid it with the God’s help. Now let’s return back to the regular programming, enough about me, lol.

Sin is something that’s been around since the beginning of time and caused trouble every since; destroying lives, families, relationships, marriages and so on. God tried helping us to avoid sin at all cost, giving us guidance and tools to help (The 10 Commandments, Biblical Laws, The Bible, etc.). He knew that it would be difficult to live a perfect and sinless life, however He said (in my Bible it’s in red, depicting He directly said it, not a disciple, apostle, prophet but Him) in Matthew 5:48 - Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. - Now when this was said He knew of the temptations we would face in our walk and the difficulties that would come with them because He too had been tempted before. The sin isn’t in the temptation but in the giving in to it. He died so that we might be saved and strive to avoid sin to lead to a life more like Him - PERFECT. Through His death He washed us of our sins and forgave us but this wasn’t to condone or give us an excuse to continue to sin.

In the book of John where He says, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her” (the parable of the adulterous woman) if we read further we see that He tells her, “Neither do I condemn thee, go, and sin no more.” Once God renews our thinking and life, we’re to strive to be more like Him, PERFECT. Will it be difficult, yes; will we fall, yes but does this mean we continue to fall, NO. In our walk, we’ll stumble and fall, become discouraged, think of giving up but these are the times we have to rely on the promises He gave us and when we forget them, just pick up the Bible and read them, It’s a complete book of promises. Our goal as Christians should be to eliminate sin from our lives, not excuse it. Sin is deliberate rebellion against God and when it happens we should pray and ask God to help us remove it, overcome it and not tolerate it. In this life it’s hard to be flawless and free of sin because it surrounds us, but we can aspire to be as close to Christ like as possible demonstrating morally sinless behaviors. A tendency to sin doesn’t give us the right to sin.

In closing I find it interesting that if you look at every adulterous sin done in churches, every act of deception committed, every act of wrong doing - the first thing said by the person that committed the sin is, “well nobody’s perfect and my God is a forgiving God”. I would love to ask someone on the receiving end of the sin, “How do you feel about the affair your spouse was involved in that you found out about only after you hired an investigator and saw it on ‘Cheaters’ (that’s my show, lol) after you both had got home from church? Point being that as we mature we know right from wrong. There’s an old saying that goes, “Everything I needed to know in life, I learned before the kindergarten”. This stands true for our walk with God as well, He’s given us instructions to live by while giving us the ability to choose if we want to live by them. Sin isn’t mandatory for being human, it’s a choice.

I pray that each of you that took the time to read this is Blessed in your daily walk to be more like Him. Please leave comments, if it provoked your thinking about the topic please pass it on. SHARE LIFE-LET’S GO!!!!

Wow, I like that so much I have to repeat it or as my pastor says, “that’s a good place to say amen”, lol…………………

Love and Blessings.