Right now my greatest sin is that I am plain and simply living too comfortably. Don't get me wrong, this is certainly not the only sin in my life, but I really think it is the sin that has immobilized me spiritually. I still read my Bible and pray, mind you, but I keep things as spiritually safe and cozy as possible. This comfort level has become a huge sin on a number of levels. For one, all of my earthly needs are met. I am, for the most part, always comfortable. I have lots of the "things" people say I need to be happy, even though I know that all of the earthly "things" will one day pass away. I still can't say I really know the feeling of true "want". All of my comfort "things" have numbed me just enough that I mistake full hands for a full spirit. For another thing, not knowing the feeling of "want" in my own life makes it much easier to dismiss real needs in the lives of the people around me. I am fairly certain that today I have crossed paths with other moms, grocery store clerks, or neighborhood children who were bearing heavy needs, and I never really saw a one of them. Not one. How can I miss that? And how can I be OK with missing it day in and day out?
Probably the biggest element of this sin is that I have become completely ambivalent to the lost. (As an aside, I know lots of people hate the term "lost" in reference to non-believers, but I am going to use it anyway today.) It isn't that I don't know them or see them, I just am not moved to action on Jesus' behalf. You have no idea how hard it is to admit that, but lately I am faced with the reality that it may be true. You know the parable of the Good Samaritan? (Luke 10:30-37) Today the part of the priest and the Levite will be played by...me. Ouch.
I have spent some time over the last few months researching and studying what the Bible says about us as sheep and Jesus as the Shepherd (more on that in another post), and I was absolutely blown away by a few little verses in Matthew.
Mt 9:35-36 "Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."
Let me quote you from William Barclay's commentary on the book of Matthew, so you can get my point:
"When Jesus saw the crowd of ordinary men and women, he was moved with compassion. The word which is used for moved with compassion (splagchnistheis) is the strongest word for pity in the Greek language. It is formed from the word splagchna, which means the bowels, and it describes the compassion which moves people the the deepest depths of their being."
Jesus' response to lost and hurting people was a gut-wrenching pity. Mine is...indifference. Forgive me, Jesus.