I kind of hate that expression, mostly because it gets overused and even abused, but there is much truth in it, especially when one discusses the sin so inherent in the human race. We all sin. I may have mentioned that before. The idea is not original with me. It's in the Bible. All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God. Paul said that somewhere in his letter to the Roman Church I think.
I may also have mentioned in the past that sin is anything contrary to the will of God. Those things that are sinful are defined quite well in the Bible. Sin is not merely behavior or activity. It can begin with a thought that is nursed to the point of desire. A simple distraction can turn into a covetous moment, a lie, an angry tirade or a year and a half long affair with someone of your own sex. No, sin is much more than mere behavior. It is a condition of the human heart. Jesus said that it is what is inside of a man that makes him unclean. Sin is desire from within for...for...whatever, for the things or activities that God says we can not have or should not participate in.
So why do we single out some sins as more tolerable than others? Is it because there are simply more covetous liars than there are homosexuals? Does a majority sinner get more leeway than a minority sinner? I'm thinking not, at least from the Lord's perspective. However, this is not true among humans. There are certain sinful activities which are more common than others and so we tend to wink at those and feel better about ourselves as we reach out and condemn those afflicted with the really big sins, whatever those might be in our culture at whatever time in history we live. This is true both inside and outside God's church.
So what causes us to sin? Why does someone covet? Why do people like to gossip? Why does someone have sex with his neighbor's wife? Why do I think the guy that just walked in to the coffee shop is really hot and I want to get to know him?
It comes down to what is in our hearts does it not? Somewhere deep inside all of us is the broken, bent desire to please ourselves and ignore our neighbors and our Creator.
Someone asked me what causes homosexuality? Did God make a mistake? Was I born this way? Is it genetic or environmental? Is it nature or nurture? Is it just a behavior to be avoided?
My answer has become this.
I don't know and it does not matter. That's right. It does not matter. You may as well ask what makes someone a self righteous arbitrator of someone else's sins? We are a broken race my friends. We are sinful. Our spiritual genetics are messed up and so we are out of plumb with our Creator's desire for what we should be. Our ancestors chose their own will over God's and so sin became systemic in the race. It's why we need Jesus. It's why God sent Him. It is what it is and why God does what He does. He wants to save us from our own self destructive behavior because He loves us.
I'm still not sure why, but I know that He does love us. What's more, He has paid the debt that sin accrues; even the sins not yet committed. Yes Christian, you have sinned, you will sin today and you will sin in the future. You may even sin on the day you die. He has paid for that and He loves you.
Do not stand back from the adulterer, murderer or sodomite pointing the fickle finger of condemnation. Rather go look in the mirror. Jesus died for your sins too. I do not know what causes you to be self righteous or to covet or lie about your own purity, but I love you anyway, mostly because God loves you.
Now sit down with me, a sinner, and be my friend. We will talk. We have much in common. Together we will walk with Jesus and help each other out of our grave clothes. We will see what it like to live in His glorious light, loving each other as He intended.
I don't know why I'm gay. I can tell you that it feels hard wired in me, like He made me this way. It is what it is. I just know that Jesus loved me enough to give His life for me.
Lord, I accept your gift.