During this holy season, we may find ourselves focusing on the notions of sin and repentance. As difficult as this may be, exploring our sins present an opportunity for us to learn some important lessons about ourselves so we may truly grow in relationship with our God.
The best definition of sin that I heard and follow is this: a sin is anything that keeps us from union with God. Sins may be a decision, behavior, or action that is not rooted in love, that separates us from our Creator.
It is human to sin, and if we are honest, we do it, and probably more often than we like to admit. God, despite our transgressions, loves us unconditionally- and thank God for that!
When Jesus tells the women who committed adultery to “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11), we hear the mandate to change our ways.
I find that this is easier said than done as change is difficult. Consider some of these reasons here.
So instead of just hoping we will change our ways, one path to success may involve self-exploration.
- What might your sins teach you?
- What do you have to learn from those actions that keep you from being in right relationship with God and with others?
Move beyond the despair and guilt, and allow your sins to reveal your room for growth. Rise above your transgressions by understanding an aspect of your deeper self.
Seek out help where needed, pray for the grace to heal (God always provides), and move forward knowing that you are loved no matter what you may or may not do.
I leave you with this familiar quote attributed to the playwright Oscar Wilde: “every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” In our attempt to live a holy life, may we learn from our past so we can continue to grow in relationship with our God and with all of God’s creation.