Jeremy is back on the blog today to discuss a topic we all understand; sin. Today’s post challenges us that instead of trying harder not to sin, be a good person who does good things, and practice being righteous, to simply rest in the grace of Christ. We all need this reminder, I know I did. Thank you, Jeremy.
If you could compete in any Olympic event what would it be?
If I had to pick, I would go with downhill skiing and curling. Yes, curling.
Curling is chess on ice with a lot of strategy and thinking through the shots. I imagine if I wanted to become good at this game I would need a lot of hours of practice on the ice, strategically placing these stones along the frigid surface.
When it comes to playing sports and games, practicing is really a no brainer. You simply need to practice to succeed and hopefully with enough practice you will do well at your task.
In his first letter, the Apostle John wrote about a practice of a different sport. No, not wrestling or javelin throwing, instead it’s practicing our sinning and righteousness.
Think about that for a moment.
Do you practice sinning?
Quite frankly, I don’t have to practice sinning; I’m already a first-ballot hall of famer when it comes to vice and character flaws! Unlike curling or downhill skiing though, anger, lust, jealousy, gluttony, and other deadly sins simply comes naturally to me.
To this point John wrote,
No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.
I wish I could tell you that practicing righteousness comes from doing good things and trying harder. Sadly, putting our time into it will only make you more exhausted and will ultimately destroy you. Instead of trying harder, try to rest in the completed work of Christ. Try getting drunk on God’s grace that is never exhausted. Be like the tree described in Psalm 1, planted and sustained by the riverbank of God’s peace.
Our desires are messed up, and only the work of Jesus can right those desires. Only in him can we be made new and want to practice righteousness. As Dietrich Bonheoffer once wrote, in Jesus we learn to rightly love each other. We want to want to love others. In Jesus, we want to want to be righteous. At the core of our being, we will slowly (but surely) be changed.
In Jesus, we learn to practice righteousness and ultimately quit sinning when we see Jesus eye to eye and face to face.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
How do you find courage in practicing righteousness?
Jeremy is a a twenty-something husband, father to a beautiful daughter, and recent graduate student living the dream. A Southern California transplant in San Francisco, he works as a youth mentor and helps them think through big questions of life. You can connect with Jeremy on Twitter here and keep up with his life here.