Last night I was confronted by my sin.
I had a thought that shook me; I thought a thought I never thought I'd think. I was confronted by my sin. It wasn't a sin that I committed, but a sin that lives inside me.
Again, it wasn't a sin I did, but a sin that lives inside me. I was confronted once again by my capacity for evil.
Before I tell you my thought, and I have debated whether or not to share it or to just remain vague, let me tell you about two other times it happened.
When I visited Germany I went to a concentration camp. Before going to the Flossenburg concentration camp I had the opportunity to stay as a guest with a few different German families. I loved that experience. The families were loving, fun and so relatable.
When I went to the concentration camp I was expecting to be appalled at the atrocities committed, and I was. I expected to be chilled when they talked of the 30,000 men, women and children who died there, and I was. I expected my heart to ache when they retold the story of Bonhoeffer's death there, and I was. However, I didn't expect to be able to relate to the Nazi era Germans. In Flossenburg I was hammered by the realization that I likely could live in one of the homes near the camp and say nothing. I could have been silent as so many nice Germans were. I realized that I had a deep capacity for evil in me.
Before my wife and I dated I thought that not having sex before marriage was a fairly simple accomplishment. I thought that weak people caved in to that particular sin. During the time dating and being engaged to my wife I realized that I should not be surprised when Christians do have pre-marital sex but rather when they don't. Following God's command was more difficult than I expected. We did manage to wait, but I found that the very thing I judged lived in me.
So, last night I was confronted by my sin. Not a sin I committed but a sin that lives in me.
During my wife's pregnancy my moments of realizing that I am the father of my son are much fewer than I expected. To be honest, I spend more time having it not feel real than having it feel real. It's hard not to on this side of birth. It was last night that I realized that the capacity to forget the humanity of my son lives in me and sometimes owns too much real estate in me. And this is the same feeling that allows men and women to electively abort (I'm not talking about situations where the life of the mother is at risk, simply elective abortions). Abortion is never an option for me, but I saw one of the seeds of it in me. I stared that feeling in the face last night and I hate that I did and I'm glad that I did.
The Bible is clear that not speaking up for the justice for the least of these is wrong. It is clear that sex outside of the covenant of marriage is wrong. It is clear that electively aborting a young life is wrong. I'm not denying that, nor would I. However, when I've stared at the ugly thing that lives in me it's caused me to judge less. But for the grace of God I could commit many more sins that I do; I'm a talented sinner. I'm capable of more evil than I often think.
I pray that God allows you to see the ugly thing that lives in you. The closer we get to the light of Christ the more we will do this. I pray that He lets you see what He's saving you from. I pray that it makes you more committed to purging the evil within you. I pray that it makes you judge less, not compromise more, but judge others less.
May your heart be softened and may you mortify the seeds of sin within you today.