Geeks For Jesus Christ from a tech perspective

June 16, 2009

A good analogy for sin

Filed under: Uncategorized — gmack @ 3:37 pm

I’ve been looking for a good analogy for sin in our lives that answers the following questions:

  1. If God finds our sin abhorrent then how can he forgive us?
  2. If we are forgiven why do we need to stop sinning?
  3. Why does our human nature fight our attempts to live good lives?

Well if you will bear with me I think I’ve found the perfect analogy for sin: toilette training.

When we are born we just don’t know better.  Our natural human nature tells us that when something is getting a little full inside we need to get rid of it wherever we are and whatever we are doing it just doesn't matter we have to get it out now.

Toilets, on the other hand, are not natural.   We have to fight what our bodies want to naturally do and learn to hold things until the right moment.

Watching over the whole process is our parents.  They know that the resulting mess will make us sick so they clean us up and whatever mess we left behind is taken care of.  It's disgusting but their love overrides all else. This is of course a stopgap measure.  Our parents don't want to be changing our diapers when were thirty and there is much lower risk of us getting sick if we weren't messing all over ourselves in the first place.   One day our parents decide we are old enough to learn to use a toilette.  They deal with the mess and still cleanup but they know we will eventually get the hang of this unnatural toilette thing.   Things don't go well at first.  We don't want to learn to hold it and even when we do learn that we need to master this things still  get messy and wet while we learn but they keep up the training. until one day we get the hang of it all and our proud parents celebrate the moment they don't have to clean up after us or worry we will get sick from our own mess.

Sin works the same way:  God hates sin more than we could ever know or understand.  The bible has some pretty harsh words about sin but the story doesn't end there.  God sent Jesus to clean up our mess and keep us from having to suffer the consequences.  We mess up again and again.  We get discouraged and want to give up but there is God nudging us onward in the hope that one day we will get the hang of it.

Our job is just like a child's: we are to try over and over no matter the mistakes and setbacks we must pick ourselves up and try again.  Even though the journey will take a lifetime we will one day learn to master each task God sets in front of us.

 

update: It has been argued that my analogy does not account for God's complete distaste for sin and the distance it forces between us and God. I'm guessing those people have never been around a baby with a smelly diaper and personally I'd rather not hold a baby close until it's been cleaned up.

 

2 Comments »

  1. Gerhard,

    I wasn’t sure where you were going with this one, but you’re absolutely right, toilet training as you explained it is a helpful analogy for sin—not only for knowing what it is, but more importantly, what to do with it.

    It’s only when we acknowledge the messes we make that we can begin to see God’s grace at work, cleaning us up and giving us another shot to get it right.

    Comment by kelly — July 3, 2009 @ 7:26 am

  2. genial articulo! la informaci�n que hay en el blog me ha servido de gran ayuda! Saludos y a�ado el blog a mis favoritos

    Comment by VlcMad — December 26, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

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