Law #1 of Life-Change | The Law of Sin

laws-of-change
 
Sin may be one of those “outdated” terms, reserved primarily for religious rants or sarcastic slander. Substitutes have been proposed, such as mistakes or wrongdoings, but most replacements attempt to whitewash the gravity of human brokenness in favor of innocuous error. 
 
The biggest problem with denying the reality of sin is that it prevents me from choosing a path only visible on the other side of despair. 
 
Sin isn’t just slapping a sibling or stealing a car. It’s a condition, a
fallenness from the glory that only God can remember (Rom 3:23), and a separation from the abundant life God intends for us. Sin also causes me to deal with this dissonance in unhealthy ways, which only compounds the problem. 
 
Thus the First Law of Life-Change–The Law of Sin: 
 
Humans constantly attempt to independently validate our existence
 
It isn’t just that we’re broken, flawed creatures who are utterly “curved in on ourselves” in a tragic blend of pride and despair. It’s that we attempt to redeem ourselves apart from God’s extended hand of help. In other words, we seek to justify ourselves, to validate our existence, and demonstrate our value through some form of personal achievement or experience, rejecting the all-important reality of our Creator. 
 
What’s wrong with pursuing validation, you might ask? Nothing. Except that it doesn’t work. If getting high, overworking, or sleeping around improved our lot in life, God would be all for it. But they only expand the problem. The problem, by the way, is so bad that even good things–from charitable giving to helping an old lady across the street–can fuel my sense of independence and constitute my rejection of God’s grace. In short, even my greatest acts are shaded by self-absorption.
 
When I try to deal with my deficiencies by taking life into my own hands, I sense a twinge of guilt, even for my kindest acts. For beneath each and every nicety hides a man who denies that only God can rescue me. 
 
Properly understood, good deeds are done in gratitude for all that God’s given us, not to prove that we’re worthy or more virtuous than the slacker next door. Our pursuits and vocations must flow out of one’s identity in God, because they simply can’t bear the weight of validating our existence.   
 
But don’t give up on doing good, for Pete’s sake. God created you to live a life of impact (Ephesians 2:8-10). Simply bear in mind the Law of Sin. Remind yourself to avoid the ever-present urge to remove God from the very problems that Jesus died to redeem. 
 
The need for validation is God-given–we were created to crave affirmation and love.  And God’s also provided the pathway for truly getting there, with one little catch–that path is only available to self-identified sinners. 
 
 
—To learn more about Surprise Church’s I Can Change series or watch messages online, check out Surprisechurch.com