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Today You Are Here: Redeemed

I’ve never considered myself perfect. But there are days that I seem further away from perfection than usual. Days that I impatiently snap at people I care about, days that I neglect the needs right in front of my face, days that I choose myself over others, days that I am strikingly unloving.

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I’ve been in 1 John lately . I open the pages of my bible as I read through the second chapter. It is filled with warnings and rebukes against sin, and indicators of what sin looks like. I write this to you so that you will not sin, the author says. Two thousand years ago he wrote all this that we – that I – might not sin.

Sin is an uncomfortable word. I would rather not spend my morning reading a chapter on sin. It isn’t fun. It doesn’t feel particularly inspiring. It is hard and it is convicting. I swallow the bad taste of my own sin rising up in my mouth.

Am I not past this yet? Can I not move on to something less fundamental? Isn’t it time that I get over myself and on to doing the important work of the kingdom? Am I really finding myself facing the same buckets and piles of shortcomings and failures I’ve been working through for so many years?

I try new tactics. I pray harder. I give myself pep talks before I walk into circumstances I’ve known to test me past my limits. I practice deep breaths. I give myself inspirational quotes and verses to say. I grit my teeth and will myself not to sin.

And then I see myself. Sitting there, acting out of the anger, the frustration, the unmet expectations and hurt feelings. I see myself in sin.

I’d rather not call it sin. Couldn’t we just call it a mistake? A character flaw? A personality defect I’m working on overcoming?

The Apostle John didn’t skirt around the issue. He took out his pen and wrote it down like it was. Sin. Dark. Liar. He is undeniably clear about the issue of sin and it is painfully clear that I have a sin problem. I hate it. I feel uncomfortable and start justifying. If you just knew how hard it was… If you just understood how I can’t do this… If you just could see my situation…

This scripture is not intended to be a guilt trip, though. It is not here to condemn, to point fingers, to blame, to damn to hell. If we confess our sins, it says. He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. We cannot confess unless we are able to recognize it. But if anyone does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ the righteous one. .

It’s not about wallowing in our sin. It is about being rescued from it.

A priest-friend. That’s how this is translated in the Message. We have a priest-friend who goes to God on our behalf. He is on our side. Not to condemn but to redeem. My sin problem will never be too big for my lavishly gracious priest-friend.

The sun is shining bright through the windows this Sunday morning. The trumpet is echoing through the church sanctuary, awake my soul and sing of him who died for me.  The congregation sings out, all hail redeemer, hail!

{This is a part of my Today You Are Here series. Join me over here for the 31 days of October as we practice being present together. Or enter your email address below to have updates sent directly to your inbox!}

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