Yes I know, it’s hard to believe, but I am. How? Well, let’s take an accounting:

  1. I have lied,
  2. I have cheated,
  3. I have stolen,
  4. I have worshiped other gods (money, position, power, influence…yep, those were gods),
  5. I have not honored my father or my mother (thankfully they don’t own computers),
  6. I have taken the Lord’s name in vain,
  7. I have coveted,
  8. I have been proud…

Well, you get the idea. I am a sinner. I can say that I haven’t ever committed adultery…technically. I’ve never been married, so technically you can’t commit adultery without being married…right?

“28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt 5:28).

DA$%! … Oops! Umm, be right back, I have to have a little conversation for a few…

One of the reasons I love my church is that they are primarily a group of truly accepting, loving, and forgiving people. Coming from churches where perfection was the order of the day, it’s like taking a deep breath up on a mountain top – exhilarating and freeing! It truly is when you begin to experience the grace of God. I think that was God’s design, that we experience more of His grace through his church rather than directly from Him. For if we experienced it from Him alone, we wouldn’t need the community of believers as much. And without that bonding of community, we wouldn’t be able to help each other with our struggles and trials. Dietrich Bonhoeffer sums it up really well:

He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and as devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners! (Bonhoeffer, 1954, p. 110).

I know what he means when he says “left to their loneliness.” Trying to maintain a hidden world is so tiring and separates us from each other. You can’t let someone in so close as to see the *real* you, for they might not like you then. Talk about being lonely!

So, just to set the record straight…I am a sinner.

— Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. (1954). Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

The New King James Version. 1982 (Mt 5:28). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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