Over these last few years I keep hearing of people I know being admitted to hospital – with dengue fever. It saddens me as there is not much we can do other than make sure they stay hydrated. The local officers are checking people’s propertes to ensure awareness is raised as to whether each one’s place is the potential breeding ground of mosquitoes and hence spreading of dengue. Fines are issued if orders aren’t followed. Yes a good thing. However, what about those who continue to slacken in the way they maintain their properties – knowing full well the danger it can cause. Laziness and selfishness or perhaps even lack of finances could lead to the negligence of maintaining their properties. Yet, these factors could lead to death of another.
I also increasingly hear of people I’m close with or know having cancer at a pretty alarming rate. One of my friends fighting with bone cancer said that her doctors had said that cancer is becoming more common due to diets (artificially induced growth of vegetables and poultry etc) and as well as smoking.
Oh gosh, another sore point. Every where we turn there seems to be a puff of smoke… and this irks me more and more. Even as I write this, I’m having a bout of wheezing struggling to breath. I got so fed up of lying down that I’m up writing. My specialists back in Canada warned me that my death could be caused either by cat hair or smoke. And here I am surrounded by it – unable to escape it. My throat starts to scratch and itch even before my nose can smell the smoke. And it’s fatal… But do those who smoke care about themselves let alone the impact it has on others around them. If it affects my lungs so much, I cringe at the thought of the embryo forming in its mothers womb out there. How much of damage is being caused to that naive child – still not had a chance to see the world? How many embryos are dying out there as a result of someone’s selfish choice?
To me this is what sin is – doing anything that will harm our neighbours.. and anything that we do in disobedience to God. He gives us a specific calling and a specific life. Not heeding to His voice is sin. However, these selfish acts as outlined above (and there are many more examples we can see around us) is what SIN is all about. A simple thing of not protecting your environment or making it a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes or artificially inducing growth of poultry and plants so that your revenue is increased or smoking or… These are possible acts of murder.
Adultery becomes a sin as you are harming your own spouse and in fact your own body as now the two are one not two separate entities when you are joining flesh with another. Selfish ambition is an act of the sinful nature as you are looking to your own growth and name (and perhaps your nuclear family too) but neglecting those around you that God has placed you in your life.
Galatians 5:21-27 lists the fruit of the Spirit – what is increasingly evident in your life as you walk in God and it also lists the acts of the fleshly nature – your behaviour that is the result of your decreasing relationship with God. Knowing this list will help us understand what sin is all about – it’s not just about killing someone directly or about adultery but it’s about not harming our neighbours… Sin is about not just wronging the other with our actions but it’s also about wronging them with our lack of actions. And guess what, we all fail.
None of us are perfect – it is a given. Our testimonies aren’t in our behavioural patterns, in the appearances as much as it is with the way we respond to our mistakes and the way we yearn to get closer to God and for God to help us set it right. As our intimacy with God increases, our stumbling decreases and our ability to resist the acts of the sinful nature increases.
Let’s keep turning to the Lord and let Him search our hearts for all anxieties.. and for His grace and strength to love Him with our all and to love our neighbours as ourselves…