I’m going to come straight to the point: we don’t talk about sin anymore.
We talk about brokenness and being messy, which is good. We talk about crushed Cheerios in our minivans or how we just can’t get to the gym. Maybe even about the truth of our hard days, and where we feel we don’t measure up. All good.
And in light of all that, we talk a lot about God’s love for us, a most necessary shift from the past. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us less; we know that now, right? It’s important to know that God sees into our brokenness and mess and does not turn away. Again, all good.
Authenticity is great. Being grounded in God’s love is necessary. But what happens when we divorce it from sin? When we don’t look past our crushed Cheerios and failed gym membership to see the ways we rebel against God Himself?
What Happens When We Don’t Talk About Sin
Well, if that happens, then we can go to church and just feel good about ourselves.
We go sing about how much God loves us and it fills us up to live another week. We sing what I call “Law 1” songs.
If you aren’t familiar, the gospel tract we often use in Cru ministry called “Knowing God Personally” used to be called “The Four Spiritual Laws.” Law 1 is, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.”
Good news, but not if we forget law 2, “Man is sinful and separated from God.”
I know. Who wants to talk about that?
I do. Because what does it mean to us that God loves us if we aren’t conscious of the fact that we don’t deserve that love? If we don’t face the hard truth that apart from the death of Christ, I cannot stand in the presence of God?
Why We Need to Talk About Sin
When our “brokenness” and “mess” fails to encompass the reality of sin, we miss something of God.
When it’s only about bringing our wounds and not our moral failure to the surface, we don’t experience the full extent of what God has done for us.
Jesus didn’t die for our crushed Cheerios or our failure to work out. He died for the ways we choose to walk away from God, over and over, day after day.
Growing up, I was not acutely aware of my sin. I was a good kid. The kind other parents probably wished they had.
So when I was presented with the idea that I was a sinner in need of grace, I accepted it at a head level. I couldn’t really see much God was saving me from.
But as I grew, I began to be confronted by the depths of how I do try to live independently of God. I saw the deep desire in my heart to be my own savior, ruler of my own kingdom.
It was terrifying to me. I thought surely God would realize He’d made a mistake choosing me as a child.
But every time I’ve seen a new depth of my sin, it calls me to see deeper grace. And that’s why we need to talk about sin.
A dear friend of mine once said, “I am sobered by the depth of my depravity, and I’m thrilled by the depth of my redemption.” The magnificence of grace always matches the magnitude of our sin.
This is why we need to talk about sin: so that while we are sobered by how far we stray from God, we can simultaneously be overwhelmed by all that God has done to bring us back.