Sometimes I’m struck by the absurdity of modern moral codes. We live in an age when it’s permissible to get on the internet and say anything you want in the cruelest and most harsh ways. In a time when moms everywhere are decorating their homes with throw pillows and supposedly esoteric art pieces that feature the f-word, simply because they find it amusing. When abortions are wiping out huge numbers of the next generation of human beings. We live in a world where men and women alike can’t make it through the day without watching videos of violent sexual acts in which women and children are victimized in the most horrific ways. Yet, over and over again I see posts on social media about what a worthless human you are if you don’t return a shopping cart when you go to the grocery store.
A recent Barna survey asked Christian women what their biggest sin struggle is, and the top two answers were disorganization and inefficiency. First of all, is a messy laundry room really classified as a sin? And are these really the worst things that women believe they are struggling with?
The less connected we are to God’s word, the less we will be able to recognize and understand sin and biblical answers to moral and ethical questions. As a whole our culture is moving further away from the Bible every day. Even professing Christians are distancing themselves from the scripture or are so unfamiliar with it that they have no real understanding of their sin as it relates to a holy and perfect God. I suppose it only makes sense from there that people begin creating their own brand of morality, one where leaving a shopping cart or having dirty dishes in your sink is more grievous than jealousy or hatred or lust or even murder.
These are times for self-examination. Times for letting God’s word form our worldview and not the confused, godless culture that we are now living in. These are times for mining the depths of our own hearts and considering whether we truly know Christ or we are just going through half-hearted motions. Any woman who would claim that her biggest sin issue is disorganization has an extremely stunted understanding of who she really is or how depraved and wicked, how desperately in need of a Savior. A woman who believes that inefficiency is her most urgent sin struggle has little comprehension of her position before the God of the Universe. In these survey answers there is no hint of Isaiah’s confession as he fell at the feet of the Lord: “Woe to me! I am ruined!”
It’s likely that many of the women Barna surveyed who claim to be Christians are, in fact, not. But, even among those who are truly converted there is a real lack of comprehension when it comes to the holiness of God. As long as large chunks of Christianity believe that their habitual sins are not that bad, as long as churches are fooled into thinking that shopping carts and messy desks are bigger problems than pornography and racism, jealousy and pride, the church will grow more and more ineffective in showing the world what it really means to follow Christ and to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. And as long as Christians fail to identify and kill sin in the Body of Christ, we are proving to the world that we don’t read or live by the book that we claim changes everything.
We can’t be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, identifying and eradicating sin in our lives, unless we read scripture and do what it says. We can’t see ourselves accurately until we see God for all that He is. We can’t even begin to reach for sanctification and holiness until we begin to see the utter holiness of our great God as He is revealed in the Bible. Until we turn to His word, until we study it and live with it and treat it like food and air, then we will never be able to untangle the mystery of the human experience, and we will be fooled into believing that things like shopping carts separate the decent people from the awful ones. It’s all just posturing until we get real about the awful in our own hearts.
It’s time to take a closer look at ourselves.
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139: 23-24