In 2017 the BBC News website had an article about a guy called Eddie Maher. In 1993 Eddie had stolen £1.2 million pounds and then fled to the USA. He had sent his partner, Debbie on holiday to Boston a few weeks earlier with their toddler, Lee.
He only explained to her they were on the run when he met up with her again in the America. They changed their names to Stephen and Sarah and they had another son. When their first son Lee was a teenager he started getting into trouble. Eventually, he got married and when he was drunk he confessed to his wife that he thought his dad might be a fugitive. They later split up and she did some digging into the family and tipped off the police and then the whole story began to come out. What I found fascinating about the story was this. Eddie is quoted as saying, ‘My sons had a good upbringing. I taught them to be law-abiding citizens. But when Lee got to the age of being headstrong and stupid that put pressure on us. He was a problem and in the end, that's the problem that brought everything to a head.”
‘My sons had a good upbringing. I taught them to be law abiding citizens’. Do you know what, there could have been loads of things about their upbringing that was fantastic but there were a few little things that weren’t…. like their parents not being who they said they were and being on the run from the police to name just two.
The problem is out there….
It’s an extreme example but I think we can all be a bit like that. We can see the problem as being out there and not in here.
We can deny the evil in our own hearts because to admit to it would be to risk rejection, condemnation and shame. If we look at the best part of ourselves we can think we’re ok. If we take the worst parts of other people and compare them with the best parts of ourselves we come out ok. We can do really well in one area but do really badly in another. We’re created in God’s image so we’re all capable of great and wonderful things.
But if the standard is God then that is a different matter. God’s standard is perfect and He is more Holy than we can imagine. The bible says that ‘all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’. It’s not us and them, its’ just US.
Sin breaks relationships. Firstly it breaks our relationship with God but also with other people.
I remember when our oldest child Josh, who is now 18, was small and he’d done something he shouldn’t have done and he knew he shouldn’t have done it. I can’t remember what it was now. What I do remember is that he couldn’t look me in the eye. His wrongdoing affected our relationship. And our wrong doing affects our relationship with God.
Sin wrecks our relationship with God. We become separate from Him. When are spirit is disconnected from our body our body dies. When our spirit is disconnected from God our spirit dies. We are spiritually dead.
The heart of our problem is that we are spiritually dead. Our relationship with God, the source of all life and love is broken.
Sin is more serious than we think and God is more Holy than we imagine. Because God is so Holy even the smallest sin can break our relationship with Him