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The Root of Sin? (2004-02-16 - 6:23 p.m.)

Today, I finished a most astounding book. It is Robert Heinlein’s first novel that was supposedly lost for many years, rejected by publishers during the era in which it was written, that being 1938-1939. It is called For Us, the Living. I will comment more on this book in a later entry.

What is the essence of sin? This has been discussed at length by many different people. One of the best answers that I have seen is that the root of all sin is, essentially, unbelief. I don’t disagree with that answer. But I think that I have found another answer, as well. The great thing to me is that I have not read this in anyone’s book. This is something that I believe that God has revealed to me for my own life. I’m not saying that I’m the first person to come up with this, as I’m sure that I am not.

I believe that a major root of sin is the lack of love. Many people might respond, “Duh!” And maybe it sounds more simplified than it really is. Love is a deep thing. As I have written at least once over the past several days (including one extremely profound Diaryland entry that would have changed the course of history as we know it, but was wiped out by a stupid hardware failure), I think that I have discovered that I don’t really have a clue about how to love. I know that we all say that we “love” something or somebody. But at the root of it all, we are intolerably selfish beings. I do things that I like to benefit me. I say that I love my wife (and, from the bottom of my heart, I do), but how do I display that? Most importantly, I say that I love God. How do I display that? By having evil thoughts about people that I know? By having conversations about people that should never happen? By my attitudes about things that annoy me? How about by being annoyed by things in the first place?

Every Sunday morning, I get all grouchy at church because of some little trivial (redundant, isn’t it?) thing that gets under my skin. Usually, it is something as stupid as someone standing in the middle of the aisle having a conversation while I’m trying to carry stuff back to the sound room. So where is the compassion of Christ in this circumstance? It certainly isn’t dwelling in my heart! This also ties into the concept of passion that I have also discussed in previous weeks. I think I have, anyway. In my private journal on February 8, I wrote these two definitions of passion: b : intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction; and d : an object of desire or deep interest.

Passion and love go hand in hand. If I love God, He will be my passion, and I will have a passion for Him. He is working on this in my life. He has promised that He won’t quit, either, until He is finished. Hallelujah for this!

My reading in My Utmost for His Highest today, even though it speaks of spiritual initiative, actually goes hand in hand with this. It is important that God is working this out in my life, because I don’t have the power to make this vision real. I would eventually give up and see it as dead. “When the inspiration of God does come, it comes with such miraculous power that we are able to arise from the dead and do the impossible thing.” The verbs are important in that sentence. We have to “arise,” and we have to “do.” If God tells me to arise, I have to get up. When Jesus healed the paralytic, he said to the man, “Rise up, take up your bed and walk.” Jesus did not pick the man up. The man had to get up himself. There is the initiative.

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