Sunday, May 11, 2014

choosing well

Good evening and Happy Mothers' Day friends,
Today's reading from John's letter talks, somewhat confusingly about sin and faith. The key here is to remember that John already wrote that anyone who says they have no sin is a liar. In this passage he says that everyone who sins is a child of the devil and that those who belong to God don't sin. Those ideas feel pretty contradictory, because John comes across as black and white. I think we get past the contradiction by thinking about sin and righteousness ultimately. We're never totally defined by our choices, and we're not totally consistent in our behavior. At the same time, each of our choices plays a role in making us who we are. Each time we chose loving acts it brings us closer to God; each time we chose selfishness, dishonesty and sin it brings us further from God. Doing the right thing is hard sometimes, but each choice makes it easier to choose well in the future.

God bless,

1 John 3:1-13

See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. 3And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.

4Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.5You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. 7Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9Those who have been born of God do not sin, because God’s seed abides in them; they cannot sin, because they have been born of God. 10The children of God and the children of the devil are revealed in this way: all who do not do what is right are not from God, nor are those who do not love their brothers and sisters.

11For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12We must not be like Cain who was from the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13Do not be astonished, brothers and sisters, that the world hates you.

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