We're not supposed to use the word "very" any more in writing. Apparently "very" has been so overused that it's practically meaningless.
We can say things like extremely, immensely, hugely, remarkably, extraordinarily, uncommonly, decidedly, truly, mightily, abundantly--but not "very."
"Very's" day is done.
It's a fossil.
I feel that same way about the word "sin."
"Sin" has been overused to the point of meaninglessness.
It covers everything from mass murder to shoplifting to being mean on Facebook.
When a client says "sin" I don't know what that means.
I can't help until we get way more specific.
The answer to "sin" is usually "repentance"--another term so vague it's become almost useless.
The original meaning of "repentance" is "change."
Today "repentance" is more likely to mean "feeling bad about myself, experiencing guilt and shame."
The idea around "sin" and "repentance," as I see it practiced in real life, seems to be that if you feel bad enough about yourself, you'll change.
NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!
Shame never, ever heals.
This is the whole story of Law vs. Grace contained in the Bible: all the Law can do is tell you you're bad. It can't help you be better.
We just had it.
This is why: we need Love to save us.
Love is what heals.
Love is what saves.
Love gives us confidence that we can come with all our crap and find the grace and help we truly, deeply need.
The answer to our problems is not "calling sin, sin."
The answer is being willing to receive Love enough that we can dig down deep into the real mess of our lives, and find more and more places for Love to be and to heal.
In the presence of Love, we can honestly explore our own motivations for that behavior we so often call "sin."
And when we get past the behavioral level and down into motivation, down into the pain we're filling up with bad choices and addiction and relationship drama--that's where we'll start to find answers to the behavior.
When I'm mean to somebody on Facebook, that's not just a "sin" to "repent" of.
Not if I really want to be healed.
That behavior is doing something for me.
What is it? What is the payoff in my own life for that behavior?
Where is the deficit of Love that makes me think I need that behavior to keep me safe, to soothe my anxiety, to stuff down my sadness?
We've all got it.
But let's talk about what's deeper than sin.
Let's talk about Love and how Love can heal us.