Another evening squandered on laziness. What started as a quick game on his PS4 turned into him staying up until 3:00 AM. Jim will be tired for work tomorrow. He’ll be grouchy. He’ll be wide open for depression. Not to mention the guilt that will follow him because he once again chose an evening of shooting imaginary soldiers over spending time with his real family. But what more can he expect? He shouldn’t be surprised that he—a finite sinful human being—chose a game over a relationship with his family.
I could give a ton of other examples. Some made up and a litany of examples from my own life. We sin. Daily. And even when we think that we have grown in one area we find that the remnant of sin runs much deeper than we thought. In all of this we aren’t shocked. Sin no longer shocks us.
I wonder if that’s a good thing? Is it okay that we are so at home with our depravity—knowing what the gospel says about fallen man oh so well—that we are no longer shocked by our sin.
As I think through this I’m reminded of Paul’s response to the Galatians:
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel…” Galatians 1:6
Paul is absolutely astonished that they could so quickly fall away. Is there a place for this type of language in the church today? Do we allow ourselves to be shocked by our sinful turning away from Christ? Or are we so at home with our depravity that we just say, “Ah, this is what is to be expected, now run back to Jesus”.
Even the Corinthians seem to shock Paul. In 1 Corinthians 5 he is astonished that they are boasting about their loose attitude towards sin when they should have been mourning. Likewise he can’t believe that they are so ignorant in their eschatology that they would talk each other to court. Shock. Shock. Shock. It’s all over the pages of Corinthians.
I could be way off here but I have to believe that something is way off in our view of sanctification if sin no longer shocks us. After all we’ve been washed, we’ve been sanctified, we’ve been justified (1 Corinthians 6:11) and our old self has been crucified (Romans 6). When we think about everything that Christ has done on our behalf, when we consider the powerful presence of the indwelling Spirit, when we consider who we really are in Christ Jesus, then I believe we ought to be just as astonished as Paul at our failings.
And as our hearts turn to shock that we could once again fall, and once again come back to this same spot of repentance, let our hearts be even more shocked that Christ is bigger and that once again we find ourselves covered—absolutely—by His blood.