Can We Sin Too Much to Find God?
IS there really a point where we have sinned so much that we can't approach God? Some people have concluded that their behavior has been so worldly, so sinful, that they have no right to seek divine assistance. They feel they have ignored God for so long that it would be hypocritical to turn to Him at such a late date.
There is some truth to this conclusion -- but more that's very wrong about it. It's true that we cannot fill our days with sin and then expect suddenly to turn to God to blot out the consequences of our wrong behavior. Sin brings suffering. As an Old Testament prophet said when observing the people's impiety and idolatry, ``Israel hath cast off the thing that is good.... They have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.''1
But it is not true that past mistakes or spiritual negligence can keep one from turning to God today. The mercy and forgiveness of God are never exhausted. Christ Jesus' forgiveness of the woman ``which was a sinner''2 who washed his feet with her tears of repentance illustrates that God's infinite Love is always to be found as we give up the sin that would claim to alienate us from God. Each one of us has a right to be healed by forsaking evil.
Sin is always healable, because it is not part of man's real, God-given identity. God, who is the one creator and is perfectly good, is not causing His children to be agents or dupes of evil.
For sin to have real, that is God-given, power over man, it would have to exist in the omnipresence of God. But perfect God tolerates no sin, so sin must be the mistaken mortal belief that man has fallen outside of God's government. And this belief is healed in the measure that we understand our true identity as the reflection of God and obediently live under His jurisdiction.
Seeing that God gives no authority to sin, and that sin is always unsustained and impotent, strengthens our efforts at reformation.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, saw sin healed many times when individuals accepted the true allness of God's government. She concluded that God has ``many welcomes'' for the penitent heart. She writes, ``Divine Love is our only physician, and never loses a case. It binds up the broken-hearted; heals the poor body, whose whole head is sick and whose whole heart is faint; comforts such as mourn, wipes away the unavailing, tired tear, brings back the wanderer to the Father's house in which are many mansions, many welcomes, many pardons for the penitent.''3
As we awake to our uninterrupted sonship with God, we discover that healing sin isn't so much a case of finding God but of realizing that we've never really left His perfect presence. We find that we are not sin-bound mortals but honest and pure children of God.
It's never too late to turn from sin and find the love of our heavenly Father and the goodness of our spiritual identity. If we are willing to live in accord with what we know is required of us, if our repentance is genuine, we can find forgiveness and freedom from self-imposed suffering. Our repenting may involve a real struggle, but we always have a right to find our way home to God.
1Hosea 8:3, 7. 2See Luke 7:36-50. 3The First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 132-133.
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