Many times I have heard people who say they feel unworthy to serve God or to even become a Christian because of their past. Maybe they have a colorful sexual past or have dabbled in drugs. Maybe they are even siting in prison because of the harm they brought on another person.
The dramatic scripture of Acts 9 shows us that we should not be so quick to disqualify ourselves.
Getting a degree in science has its benefits: namely, how fascinating the little things in nature can be. Take for example This video. I’m sure some of you may be a little creeped out by the video, you shouldn’t because it is simply the nature of the Emerald Jewel Wasp. But it got me thinking, how did this insect survive when God first created the world. Everything was originally perfect (Genesis 1:31), so using a cockroach as an ‘incubator’ for their larvae would be possible. Really, it comes down to the amazing variability God intrinsically programmed into every living thing through the genetic code!
Poison, thorns, disease and the like could not have a place in pre-sin Earth. Or, at least they couldn’t function the same way as they do now. For example every human has lots of bacteria living in their stomach that is actually good bacteria — you need it to have a healthy lifestyle! So there are ways supposedly bad functions of animals/insects can work together.
However, I don’t believe these (I’ll call them attack structures when referring to poison/thorns etc.) attack structures existed before, but arose through the genetic variability already programmed into the creatures. When God spoke to Adam and Eve about the sin they committed, several changes took place (Genesis 3:14-19). Likewise, how things functioned biologically changed, and the world was not perfect any more. Since death was now integral to life, natural selection began to work on animals, and slowly these attack structures emerged from genetic information already present.
Another way to look at those verses in Genesis 3:14-19 is that maybe God took a more direct approach and physically changed many of the creatures to more resemble what we see today. I mean, God isn’t a deistic God (one that created everything but then disconnects from the creation), but is intimately involved with His creation. However, this may have occurred in specific places (like the snake losing its ability to walk, as suggested by Genesis 3:14), but we see incredibly variability in the genetic code across every organism, leading me to believe death (sin) was the only catalyst needed to create these attack structures.
Ultimately, death will eventually only be a distant memory when Christ returns. Death is the result of sin, but once sin is conquered, death will be no more. Isaiah 11:6 tells us that these attack structures will no longer be a problem for us once death is gone and sin is conquered. So, it turns out that attack structures are perfectly logical in the Christian worldview because they didn’t emerge until after sin had entered the world, and won’t be a problem once sin is finally defeated by Jesus Christ.
I’m always amazed when people share their testimony. You’d think it’s because of what God has done in their life, and that is amazing, but usually I’m amazed that they’re sharing at all. I have a friend who is so openly honestly about the past sins in his life that whenever I talk to him I want to just stand and stare. How is it that he can be so confident? I dislike telling my testimony. I don’t like letting people know I have problems. I don’t want them to know I struggle with sin, even though they have to know I do, because I’m human.
But then I started to realize that not telling people I sin is actually just my pride. I don’t want people to know that I struggle with this, that, or the other because somehow that makes me less of a person.
Then I realized how warped of a worldview that is. Being a sinner doesn’t make me less of a person. In an odd way, it makes me more of a person, because all people sin. And if people think I’m less of a person, then their worldview is warped too, because guess what? They’ve sinned at some point in their life, too.
I think what I’m trying to say is that whilst you don’t need to make your next Facebook status your biggest sin, it does mean that you can’t hide it. James 5:16 says to confess our sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that we can be healed. When we confess our sins, it’s like a weight is lifted, and we can breathe again. Or at least, that’s how it’s been for me. Once I’ve confessed my sin, the hold it has on me loosens considerably.
Don’t allow your pride or any other sin to trap you. Confess, and you’ll be forgiven.
Working Hard or Hardly Working?
I don’t know what it is that makes people want to be better. There are so many reasons that we could simply live, and try to survive each day, without being the best that we can possibly be. Why can’t we be satisfied with being good enough to pass a class? Or being good enough to earn a decent paycheck? But most of us don’t stop at these benchmarks. There is something in us that strives for perfection, despite the cold hard fact that we are without a doubt unable to attain it. So what’s the big deal? Where am I going with this?