Looking God in the Eye

Text: 1 John 1:5-6
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.  If we say that we have fellowship with him while we are walking in darkness, we lie and do not do what is true; (NRSV)

There are many things that can be considered “sin”.  We talk about sins of “commission” and sins of “omission”.  Basically, the things we “do” that are sins and the things we “neglect to do” that because we do not do them, are sins.  We also talk about sins as to whether they are against God or against other human beings.  I have heard discussions about sins that are venial and sins that are mortal; that would be excusable verses deadly.  We even have a list that we call “The Seven Deadly Sins.”

However, I think this text from John really simplifies it for me.  He seems to be saying, anything we do (or do not do) that keeps us from fellowship with God is a sin.  I don’t have to get caught up in trying to figure out if my actions or inactions are sins, I just have to ask if what I am doing or choose not to do keeps me from “looking God in the eye.”

If what I do or choose not to do keeps me from being in a healthy relationship with God, makes me embarrassed to be in God’s presence, or causes me to avoid a conversation with God, I can be fairly sure it is a sin.  It really takes away the excuses for doing something questionable or for not stepping up and doing the right thing when I have the power to make a difference.  All I must do is ask myself if doing this particular thing will make it harder for me to be in relationship with God or if not doing the right thing will make it harder form me to be in relationship with God.

How do you know if what you are thinking about doing is a sin?  What is your thought process when you are deciding how to respond to situations in which you find yourself?  How do you decide when to step into a situation in which you have the power to make a difference in someone else’s life?

Pray with me:

God of love and God of relationship speak into my spirit as I consider my actions and responses to the situations around me.  Guide and direct my life that I might always be able to walk with you in the light of your love and not hide from you in the darkness of my sin.  AMEN.

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