(background info. My Daughter Carissa is 5 years old, and has wisdom beyond her years. When I was pregnant with Carissa, and my family was honoring me with a baby shower, My Auntie told me, "it is not what we teach our children, but what our children teach us." It is true. Carissa has taught me like no other teacher ever has. Today's topic was sin, and this is what I learned from my favorite teacher.
Sin is . . . .
How would you complete the above statement?
Go ahead and take a moment to actually write it out on a piece of paper. Go ahead. I'll wait for ya!
What is the very first thing that comes to your mind?
Sin is . . . .
What is sin?
How would you define sin?
How would you describe sin?
Sin that is actually intangible, until it is manifested in some way.
What is a good tangible analogy to describe sin, and it's toxic harmful effect?
Modern day society, including far too many in Church World, have become desensitized to sin. Many Christians would describe sin as "natural and normal". A human characteristic, thus to one degree or another acceptable, or at least tolerable, and tolerated. Thus if it is natural and normal, and we all do it, then the natural conclusion is that "it isn't that bad". And if it isn't "that bad" then there is no motivation to stop. There is no desire to truly repentant, and there will always remain a temptation to return to a certain sin that we have deemed "not that bad, normal, and natural".
What if sin had a disgusting repulsive smell to it?
This morning our dog, Lady, pooped in our daughter's play room. Our Daughter Carissa had no idea it was there, so she went into her playroom. I don't know how she missed stepping in it, because there was three different sizes & areas of dog poop. Surrounded by dog poop Carissa cries out for help, "Momma I need you!" Lady pooped in the playroom." I come to her rescue, grab her hand, guide her away, make sure that she can avoid steeping in all the mess, and not track it back with her.
Carissa is disgusted, repulsed, hurt, and angry at our dog Lady, and says, "Momma, Lady did a terrible sin in my playroom.
Now my initial response would be to correct my daughter by making an excuse for our dog, informing Carissa that what the dog did was "a natural mistake" and not a sin. But something inside me said, "stop, wait, and listen". I know from past experience that this is the Holy Spirit giving me Blessed Guidance, and I am about to get "schooled" by my daughter, the little teacher, and learn something wonderful. So instead of correcting her, I confirmed her accurate assessment.
You're right sweetie, Lady did sin in the playroom (after all our dog is trained to go to the bathroom outside in the back yard, and has done so for years without "sinning" on the carpet).
Carissa very upset, and out of anger says, "She can't stay in our home. We have to get rid of her."
I questioned my beautiful daughter, So because lady sinned in our home we should get rid of her? Carissa thought about it for a second and said, "Well, we should keep her outside, or in the garage, and never, never, and I mean not EVERRR let her back in our home!"
Now I must say that I was very disappointed, and upset at our dog Lady too, and that thought may have crossed my mind for a second, or a minute or two, and when I later called my husband Christopher at work, and informed him about what the dog had done, it more than crossed his mind, it came out his mouth out of anger. We are currently teaching Carissa, or perhaps she is the one who is teaching us to hold every thought captive. We all have the choice to choose what we will allow to remain in our minds, what comes out of our mouth, and what behavior choices we will make based on the thoughts in our mind, and the emotions & feelings in our hearts.
Talk about a great opportunity to talk about sin, repentance, trust, mercy, grace, and forgiveness! Sin, Repentance, Trust, Mercy, Grace, and Forgiveness are all interconnected. You can't really talk about one without talking about the others too.
With a bit of contemplating I concluded, Carissa is right. Her assessment that Lady did a terrible sin is accurate, and on the mark.
Carissa is right. Sin is like a dog pooping in your home. It is disgusting and repulsive, and it reeks and defiles the place so bad that you are immediately compelled to leave without any hesitation, or temptation to stick around.
It is so very easy for us to see how disgusting another's sin is, but not so easy to see just how gross our own sin is to others, especially GOD.
I could feel something building up, and rising up inside of me, and knew from past experience something fantastic is about to happen, and the Holy Spirit is about to school us, and teach us something wonderful. At this time I had no idea what has about to unfold, and was just being obedient to ask the questions the Holy Spirt told me to ask my daughter.
I asked my Beloved Daughter, How did you become a Christian? She said, "when I knowed that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and I asked Him into my heart".
So our heart becomes Jesus's home, and when we sin that means that we have sin in our heart.
Carissa said, just like when Lady sinned, and put poop in our home, our sin is like putting yucky dog poop in our heart which is Jesus's home.
We both said in unison, OOOOH Gross!
I asked her, Do you see how disgusting our sin is to GOD, and how He can not stay in our heart when we sin? Would you want to live with dog poop in your home?
That is why repentance is sooo very important. We not only have to turn away from sin, we have to ask The Holy Spirit to help us clean up the sin, so Christ can come back, and live in our heart. The Holy Spirit is our Helper that Jesus gave to us to clean up all the mess sin makes in our heart, and in our life. Just as we clean up our home every day, we have to make sure our heart stays clean every day.
Carissa said, you mean cleaning our heart is like cleaning our home, like doing our chores, like cleaning our messy table?
Yes! Do you remember how proud Mommy and Daddy are of you when you help out and do chores? Remember how I told you that it gives GOD Joy to see you help keep things clean? Do you remember why it gives GOD Joy?
Carissa enthusiastically said, Yes! When we help one another it shows that we love one another, and we appreciate and respect the things GOD has given us, because we have a thankful heart with love and kindness inside of it.
What if we didn't do our chores, and didn't take care of our things, and left them all messy and dirty? What if we didn't clean our dishes, or our clothes? What if we never threw our trash away, and it piled up and up and up all the way to the ceiling.
Carissa said, Then we wouldn't have a very nice clean place to live anymore. We wouldn't have clean dishes, or a clean table, or a clean room to play, or a clean bed to sleep in, and that would be just Horrible!
Would you want to live in a home like that?
Carissa said, No Way!
So do you think it is important to make sure our home stays clean, and when it gets messy that we clean it up as soon as we can?
Carissa said, Momma sometimes we get so busy, and run out of time, and leave things all messy.
You're right sweetheart. That is why we need to budget our time, and make sure we have enough time to clean up. And those times when we make a mistake, and run out of time to clean up our messes we have to do it as soon as we can, which means we don't do anything else until our mess is cleaned up. That means we have to say no to other things, like going to a friend's house to play, when we have a mess to clean up.
Carissa said, But Momma I want to tell you the truth, I don't really like cleaning up messes. And I would much better like to go, and play with my friends.
I know Sweetheart, cleaning up messes is not always fun. It is not always what we want to do, but it is always what we need to do, or our home would keep getting messy, and it would not be fun to live there anymore.
Carissa do you remember what sin is like to GOD?
Carissa replied with excitement and a giggle; Yes sin is like dog poop!
Carissa asked, How about if we just do a little sin? Is a little sin okay?
Well, is a little bit of dog poop okay to have in your home?
When we confess our sins to GOD, and ask Him to Forgive us, Jesus Christ takes our sin away. Jesus removes every bit of the filthy disgusting stinky gross stain, and stench of the sin. If we do not confess our sin, then Christ can not clean our heart, and if our heart is not clean the Holy Spirit can not live there.
When we do not confess our sin, and we hide it, it is like hiding, and covering up dog poop. The sin is still there even if we lie, argue, and deny it is there, the sin is still there getting stinker and stinker, until it stinks up everything in our home, and ruins EVERYTHING.
All we have to do is confess to get clean, and repent by remembering just how disgusting & repulsive sin is.