Monday, March 07, 2011

The Freedom of Repentance...

The awareness of sin and the chance the Lord gives us to repent might seem to some to be an odd occasion for thankfulness. In our culture, we try to avoid talking or thinking about sin, because we do not want to feel guilty or to be seen as someone who causes someone else to feel guilty. It's true that false guilt or unresolved guilt is damaging. But, healthy sorrow for our transmissions that leads to a change of heart and life is freeing, rather than burdening.

I ponder the words of Karl Menninger, an American psychiatrist who once tried to eliminate sin and repentance from our psychological vocabulary. He later reversed himself and wrote a book called, "Whatever Became of Sin". In it, he argues that we must be realistic: evil does surround us. But, he say, when no one is guilty, no moral questions are asked. Lacking a resolution to the problem of sin within us and within our world, we sink into despair. He notes that America's moral slide cannot be turned around unless we accept personal responsibility for evil and repent of it through action.

Praise God, who saves us from the power of sin and makes repentance possible.

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