I still remember riding the Dubai metro, almost 6 years ago, listening to a voice note from @kimransleben. Her words introduced a new concept for me that really changed the way I thought and helped me live in the hope of Christ. She said:
“You need to take sin lightly enough to take it seriously.”
I was intrigued by this idea. Christians, she said, often take sin seriously in all the wrong ways. They gasp at it, surprised by other Christian’s sins. But also, they hide, taken aback by their own sin. Believers that grew up in Christian homes especially are often shocked of what they are capable of feeling, thinking and doing.
As Christian parents we are susceptible to both of these things, both about ourselves and about our kids. We hear our harsh words, encounter our selfishness, envy of our kids and impatience and we are shocked. Or sometimes, we live in shame over all the standards we are failing to meet.
Likewise, we may gasp at our kids’ sin and either shame them for it or give into despair. We hear their disrespectful words, for example, and say something like, “I can’t believe you said x, y or z.” Or we may see their defiance and feel hopelessness. We sink at the thought: “how will they ever change?” We feel a weight that is not ours to carry about how to effect transformation in their hearts.
So if despair, shame, gasp & gossip, and hiding are some of the wrong ways we take sin seriously, how do we, abiding in the love of the Father, take sin lightly enough to take it seriously?
We need to know what happened to us and our sin:
Romans 6: 6-7: Your sin has been brought to nothing. You no longer have to obey it. You have been set free from sin.
Romans 6: 4: So you not only died, you were buried. And why did he do that to you? IN ORDER THAT you could be raised from that old self to a new one. You don’t walk in the old life, you walk in the new one.
Ephesians 2: 4-7: This one is really mind blowing: God is committed through all the ages of time to show the world how rich he is in grace and he’s going to do that by being kind to US because of our union with Jesus. You are seated with Christ, by and for a God who is committing himself to being kind to you forever.
Colossians 3: 2-3: You were crucified, buried, raised, seated…and now hidden with Christ right in the very center of God. The one thingAdam and Eve wanted to do is hide. The one thing we do in our sin is hide. Why? Because we don’t grasp the reality, the truth that we are already hidden. That’s the reality of your life if you belong to God. You are HIDDEN.
If this is all true, do you see why we can only take sin seriously if we first take it lightly? We can look at our sin and breathe a sigh of relief. Because it is not who we are! Sin is not our master anymore.
We are crucified, buried and raised with Christ! It doesn’t make sin fun to deal with but Christ made it possible for us to put it to death because HE ALREADY KILLED IT. Our job is to live like this is true – running away from temptation and from the things that lead us astray.
The more we grow in taking our sin lightly enough to take it seriously, we are better able to face our kids’ sin. We are faithful to their souls trusting the power of the gospel. We place them in front of the word rejoicing in the self-authenticating nature of God’s word. We speak the gospel knowing the Spirit works in his time and his ways. We don’t despair, nag or try to control our kids.
We see that the only solution to their struggle is the one we too needed: death and new life. We pray while breathing a little easier, because there is only one who is mighty to save…and praise God – that’s not us but the God who committed himself to being kind to us forever in Christ. So we trust him.
So dear mom or dad, take heart in your fight against your sin and your kids’. Take sin lightly enough…to actually take it seriously.
*I adapted a talk by Kim Ransleben to write this blog post for this series.