Okay, the idea of brain worms is really gross. And they probably exist in nature but I don't want to know. Worms are disgusting, seriously. I hate the idea of them. But I'm titling this post "Brain Worms" because all the time over the past year I keep finding these ideas that are wormed (see?) deep into my mind that I just have accepted as true so not bother to think about again.
One occurred to me randomly in the shower yesterday. I had just gotten back from running, which is a time I do a lot of my deep thinking, so my brain juices were flowing. Suddenly, as I paused to let the conditioner really soak in (my hair has been so rough lately) the thought popped into my head, "Wait. Are all sins the same in the eyes of God?" This is just something I've always believed. I can't remember the first time I heard it and I can't count how many times I've repeated it, but I suddenly realized I have no idea why I should believe that. Where did God say that in the Bible? My 12 years of Christian school leaped into action and my brain began rifling through the Bible. And.... came up with.... nada. Nothing. I could see why some verses might make someone make that leap but none really stated that to God, all sins are equal. And why should they be? Why would it be reasonable, logical or acceptable to think that God looks upon a murderer or someone who has abused a child the same way as he looks upon a kind, generous person who just told a lie for whatever reason? Doesn't really make sense.
This is not to say that I think God's grace can't cover every sin, because I think it can. One of my favorite quotes is, "But all the wickedness in the world which man may do or think is no more
to the mercy of God than a live coal dropped in the sea." (William
Langland) I also always loved the part in The Hiding Place where Betsy ten Boom is dying in the concentration camp and says to Corrie that she must tell people that there is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still and they will believe her because she had been in such a terrible place. (I'm getting choked up just thinking about it) So yes, I believe that God's love extends to the worst of sinners, no matter how uncomfortable that can make me feel. Let's be honest, some people, like Hitler, you want to say do not deserve grace. But that is God's department, not mine and the Bible seems to say that he is always faithful and just to forgive those who seek forgiveness.
The thing I take issue with is sometimes I feel like we only offer a God who seemingly is less caring and logical than us and can only see in black and white. Like there's a checklist and you're either naughty or nice, one or the other, hell or heaven. And if every sin's the same then no matter how you lived or what challenges you faced or anything else, you better have asked for forgiveness or it's hell for you. We would have higher expectations of any other authority figure. We would expect a just judge to examine the case from every angle. We would demand a parent love their child, treat them with compassion and see the big picture. If I missed curfew when I was in high school because I just stayed out late with my friends I was busted. Grounded for the weekend. That's that. But if I missed it because I got a flat or something similar my mom isn't going to ground me for the weekend. Both times I broke the rules of the household but my parents would examine how and why I broke that rule before punishing me. I believe God does the same.
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