Throughout our lives we hear a lot about sin; we hear about how it is our nature to sin, how to avoid sin, but the bottom line is: we all sin. However, in one of my recent classes, my professor stated he didn’t like the word sin. He said that if you read the Bible closely, it is more an alienation from God. As I listened to his explanation it was like an “ah ha” moment. Sin was an alienation from God!
Think about how we define sin. If we don’t follow the Ten Commandments or behave in a certain way we say we have sinned. Sin can, in essence, be defined as all the things we do that alienate us from God.
There are many times I have sinned. I have chosen to remove myself from God. At the time I did not see it in that light; there were even times I knew it was a sin and somehow convinced myself otherwise or justified it. Yet, when we chose to do things that are not in line with our conscience and the teachings God has shared with us, we often find ourselves drifting further away from God. With each sin, with each moment that we spend in sin and not seeking forgiveness for our sins, we alienate ourselves from God. These choices remove us from His presence and place distance between us in our relationship.
As I pondered this idea, I looked back on my life and the times when I felt furthest away from God. I can clearly see that through my actions I removed myself from God’s presence. My nature, my choices and my lack of willpower to resist sin led me away from God. God never abandoned me. God never turned and walked away from me. No matter what I have done God has always been present, patiently waiting for me to turn around and run back to him.
Thinking about my actions (and sometimes inactions) that remove me from God’s presence was like choosing to be in a dark room alone. Why would I want to do that when I can be with the one who loves me unconditionally and stand in his light and presence in all I do? Why, well, it is my nature to do such things. Not out of my control but my nature and I must make conscious decisions and chose the path that leads me towards God, not further away.
All is not lost in the moments of darkness though. These times can also offer the opportunity to grow in faith and love of God. When I have done something that removed me from God’s presence, I have felt the loneliness of being without him. I have found that my sin was not worth being apart from God. My heart ached and I longed for his forgiveness and to once again feel the closeness of his presence in my life. I have taken my sin(s) and learned from it. I am not perfect and falter over and over again but I get up, learn and try again. I am all too familiar with the emptiness I felt when I removed myself from God’s presence. I strive each day to allow God to replace that emptiness with his presence, to be fully embraced by his love.
Copyright 2015 Lorrie Lane Dyer.
Photo copyright 2015 Lorrie Lane Dyer. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Lorrie Lane Dyer is a facilitator for the Virtual Learning Community for Faith Formation with the University of Dayton as well as religious education and parish coordinator. She is working on her Masters of Leadership Development, with a focus in Military Chapel programs at St. Mary of the Woods College. Her faith provides her with inspiration for many of her poetry collections, columns and short stories.