As you can imagine with several feet of snow beginning to melt (spring is only two weeks away) there are streams of water running down our New England streets often hiding this year’s new crop of potholes. Potholes are nature’s way of telling us we do not have its permission to drive cars. It’s the most wonderful time of the year for businesses that sell tires. Last week when I picked up our car from the shop the mechanic had it all washed and shiny. That was a labor of futility. By the time I got to the first traffic light the car was covered with salty, gritty, muddy water. He really should not have bothered to clean it.
This is so much like our attempts to be righteous and have a clean heart. We are living in a world of moral potholes filled with sinful gritty slime designed to keep us dirty. I once had a church member who told me how good he was because he prayed three times every day and asked for God to forgive him his sins. He felt like he could go six hours or so without sinning and thus he could stay clean by praying so often. Really? That would be like me washing my car three times a day while continuing to drive on our city streets.
Part of the problem was his understanding of sin. He thought sin was an act, a deed or some kind of performance. Sin is much more than that. Sin is a condition. Sin is a state of being. Sin is selfishness that oozes from our almost every thought. This is why Paul tells us in I Corinthians 15 that corruption must put on incorruption before we go to heaven. Until that happens we are indeed forgiven but we are forgiven sinners.
Written by Roger Bothwell on March 6, 2015
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574