Do you ever have one of those moments when time seems to freeze and all the possible choices are laid out before you? I often choose to do stupid things. I’m allowed a glimpse of the options and I choose the worst one. Whether big obvious sins like shoplifting or mocking the disabled, or little everyday things like choosing to ignore the list of chores that Anna has left me, or gossip about the latest minor annoyance a friend commits.
At the end of Psalm 19 David says this ‘Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me. Then I will be blameless, innocent of great transgression. May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heard be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.’ Wilful sins? Certainly I recognise these in my own life. Times when despite knowing better I choose to go against God’s way and instead choosing my own way. But if there are wilful sins then does that mean that there are sins we are unaware of? That we are so ingrained into the cultures and societies around us and our ways of doing things that we almost automatically sin just by living? Could we be that far removed from Eden?
Consider the clothes you are wearing or the food you eat – are you sure it was ethically sourced? Could there be items in your house that have prospered slavery? I’m not a forceful moral warrior but I can see that something’s gone badly wrong with the world when just living can cause others to suffer. So what do we do? I mean it’s hard enough to battle wilful sins, how do we stop unintentionally sinning too?
For me it’s all about discipline. I may not be directly responsible for slavery but I could make better choices in all spheres of my life that would lead to less sinning full stop, wilful and accidental.
Romans 12:1-2 ‘Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.’