I admire the clergy that needs to come up with a sermon every week. Since I’ve been blogging, I know it is not always easy. Sometimes when I sit down and start typing, like now, an angel message will come to me. The one thing that keeps coming to me is “Sin and Punishment.” I heard someone say that God would punish them for their sins. At first, I thought no, I am not going to write about that. Now I’m thinking that if it keeps coming to me, then it must be what I am supposed to write. So here goes.
Most of the negative comments I get in my blogs, which are few, are about; if there is a God, why do all these awful things happen in the world? In Genesis I, it states that everything God created is Good; based on that I believe he has nothing to do with all the awful things in the world. But individually, when we turn to God, he will help us through any tragedy we are faced with. God gets a bad rap; he gets blamed for all the bad and very little of the good.
God would not create us capable of sin and then punish us when we sin. Yes, humanly, we make all kinds of bad choices and sin, but spiritually we are made in God’s image, incapable of sin.
I believe that what some think is punishment for their sins, is simply the consequences of their thoughts or actions. It has nothing to do with God. Jesus, in Matthew 5:28, mentioned regarding committing adultery that when a man looks on a woman with lust, he has already committed adultery. To me, that means to even think about sin is wrong, you don’t have to commit the act.
Be very careful about what you think. I think if everyone would read “The Sermon on the mount” every day, it would change the world. More than read it, strive to understand every word. The Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer have profound meaning.
Well, now on to my experience with sin. When suffering from the adult effects of child abuse, I committed many sins. I looked for love in all the wrong places. Well, let me put it this way, I looked for what I thought was love. The only love I had ever experienced as a child was between my grandmother and me, but we were rarely together, so that love was barely a blip on the radar. My sins were not malicious; it was desperation. I longed for someone to care about me.
I would hang out in bars hoping some nice guy would come along. I was under the mistaken impression that if they wanted me, they cared about me. I discovered over the years that was not always the case. After a while, I started hating myself. I didn’t like who I had become but did not know how to stop sleeping around looking for love. I was not a bad person, just confused about life and love.
I might mention here that sin is sometimes hard to recognize in yourself. Sin simply put, is anything that takes you away from God or denies his goodness. It could be a negative thought. I need to watch that all the time. I am careful about using the word “can’t.” Remember, with God, all things are possible, no such thing as “I can’t” or “you can’t.” That word causes me to repent (think again.)
I am so grateful that after 25 years, I found God and discovered a side of myself I did not know existed, that good side that God created. But I had sinned, and would I be forgiven. Yes, of course.
I love the story in John 8:3-11 about the women taken in adultery. He told her accusers, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” There it is, sin is forgiven when you stop sinning.
I changed my life and stopped looking for love in a bar; in fact, I stopped drinking. I discovered I had to learn to love myself instead of looking for someone to love me. God is Love, and as his image, I am love, and I had to let that love pour forth into the world, to share it with others. In doing that, I felt loved.
Mrs. Eddy writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures on page 10:32, “Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus’ prayer, “Forgive us our debts,” specified also the terms of forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, “Go, and sin no more.”
There it is, God does not punish sin or create all the bad in this world; it is the consequences of world thought and actions. Sometimes good people get caught up in the sins of others, that is when we turn to God to protect us and show us the way to safety. Sometimes another’s sins may cause the sudden death of a good person, which does not allow for the opportunity to turn to God. But we can know that though it is tragic, and they are no longer with us and are missed, their eternal essence as the child of God continues in all their glory, safe in God’s care where they have always been. Look what the world did to Jesus, the best man that ever trod the earth.
I long for a world without hate and destruction, where disputes are solved with love, a place where harmony governs. That is God’s creation, many of us have experienced moments of God’s creation, but we need to be in ‘one accord’ for the world to experience it.
Self-knowledge is important; if you are suffering, look for that little thought or action that is building a wall between you and God and blow it up with love. It is easy to say that he or she did this to me, and that is causing my suffering, but that is not so. Yes, they are wrong, and their punishment will come. But it is your reaction to their wrong that is causing your suffering. Let it go as it is preventing you from feeling God’s love. Go and sin no more; God always loves you regardless of your human circumstances; he only sees the good in you, his creation.
God bless you all. Michele