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Big League Sin

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If you see a fellow believer sinning in a way that does not lead to death, you should pray, and God will give that person life. But there is a sin that leads to death, and I am not saying you should pray for those who commit it. (I John 5:16)

We do not know what the “sin that leads to death” actually is. However, we do see it as so severe in John’s mind, that he wonders a loud if it’s even worth praying over. This individual evidently is so hell-bent on his own destruction that John sees that perhaps prayer energies would be better spent on someone else. How does one make that judgment? Without more explanation how is this passage helpful? Is this a descriptor of the modern-day terrorist? The modern-day pedophile? I hope not, because this sinning person is referred to as “a brother”. Is this then about someone who would claim to be Christian but yet is so decidedly evil? In this epistle John is particularly hard on 2 types of people

  1. Those who claim to be Christian yet have hearts full of hate
  2. Those who claim to be a Christian yet deny Christ’s real identity. (In those days the tendency was to accept Jesus’ divinity but not his humanity, now a days, the mistake is the other way around)

Are these people so far gone into their own destructive hate and delusions about the person of Jesus that they are beyond the point of return? Is this what John is talking about? I wonder if it’s even possible to know for sure.

What is the lesson for us? Is it that some sins are more severe than others? Yes, certainly that is one point, but I don’t think that’s the main point. The Christian must take all sin very seriously.

We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning (Vs 18)

The Christian person will run from and resist all sin at all costs. The Christian life will manifest itself in loving actions and attitudes toward other humans.

If we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? (4:20)

If it does not something is “deathly” wrong.

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Release — By Mistin Wilkinson

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I confided to Jane that another person in my life had been extremely mean to me and I kept playing in my mind how I would talk to her if I ever got the chance.  Jane told me I absolutely must “take those thoughts captive”. Don’t allow the mind to run like that.  Simply stop it!  Let it go.  Move on.  Yea, yea, I got the message. . .  and it felt rather unsympathetic.

The next week I was vacuuming my floor and playing my favourite “tell-her-off-in-my-mind” game when the vacuum cord popped up out of no where and smacked me in the face!  No kidding!  I stopped, looked up to the heavens and said, “I get it!!  I’ll stop it!  I’ll let it go!”

And I’ve tried.  But more people keep being mean to me.  (Can you hear the childish whine in my voice?)  They say harsh things that are unfounded.  I don’t get the chance to clarify what is truth.  They just tell me off and walk away and I’m too shocked to answer in the moment so I keep answering in my head over and over again for months!

What does this do for my mental state?  Everything opposite of my favourite Bible verse. . . “He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind”.  I’m the one becoming mentally unstable!!!!!  Where’s the justice in this?  Those people were mean to me!  They falsely accused me out loud to many other people!!  This is not fair!  I need to let them know. . . some day!  I better keep preparing my speeches.

I’ve begun to notice when I work on my speeches interesting things happen.  Mighty rushing winds while running, sudden cloud bursts of rain, stubbing my toe, forgetting something on the stove, random door-knocker, large truck interrupts train of thought, phone dings. . . etc.  It’s almost as if something is trying to stop my internal rants. . . . nah – that’s just too supernatural and spooky. . . .

And besides these people who’ve hurt my feelings so badly and then just gone on w their lives really need to know the damage they’ve done!  They’ve ripped out bits of my heart, my will, my stamina, my joy.  They’ve stolen whole weeks worth of sleep from me!!  They’ve altered my enthusiasm and even my personality!  They’ve taken an upbeat extrovert and made me into a hiding hermit! If I could only tell them how they’ve wounded me so deeply, perhaps then I could get back to my old happy self!

At this point in a conversation I would naturally say, “What do you think?” to get some affirmation.  But I’m not asking this time.  I don’t want to know what you think or anyone else.  I’m busy ranting.  Don’t interrupt.

Then this week I woke up with the following thought.

I keep waiting for sincere apologies and I keep planning my responses and people keep saying and doing “mean things” to me so how long will this cycle continue?  I need to figure out how to “let it go” for my own sake!  The book of Hebrews mentions a root of bitterness that can spring up in the heart and destroy us.  I need to not let that happen!  If I continue on this path, I could let my own thoughts destroy me!

These offenders have likely forgotten their offences and moved on with their lives (maybe even to go on offending others or repeat offending me)!  They never knew and likely never will understand the depth of the wounds they have inflicted on my heart.

I need to release them.

When I release them, the natural consequence will be that I cut my own bonds of bitterness and free myself.

So today I attempt to release them to the hands of the Almighty God who desperately loves them and wants to restore them.  He loves them in equal measure to His love for me.  How I must come to grips w the Father’s love for all humans!

Father God, I ask for your blessing on my offenders.  I ask you for my release from the grip bitterness has gained on my heart.  Please free me from the memories of their harsh words and actions. Help me to treat them as forgiven by YOU and loved images of your divine presence in our world!

Don’t let disappointment destroy you

Don’t let disappointment destroy you. 3 min video

Is there away to prevent yourself from becoming bitter when others let you down? The only way that I know of I learned from Jesus.