For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Romans 7:19
St. Paul pretty much sums it all up, the daily dance with sin. Every night, as I say my prayers in bed I ask God why I repeat the same sins every day. I beg Him to help me do better tomorrow. My daily struggles are losing my patience with my kids, talking negatively about others, being self-centered, over-indulging in food and simply not loving people the way I should. Sure, there are bigger sins I could be committing but that is insignificant because sin, no matter how big or small, damages my relationship with God.
This is what is so amazing about Katie, she doesn’t know how to sin. Original sin was washed away at her Baptism as an infant and she lives a pure life filled with joy. Her relationship with God is perfect! When she was a baby I prayed for God to heal her, to save her from this horrible impairment, but now my prayer is to be more like her, to just be happy with what is. I think all sin stems from wanting more because we lack trust in God’s plan. I yell at my kids because they are not acting the way I want them to act, I over eat because I want instant gratification, I talk about others to make myself feel better. Why am I not satisfied with all that God has given me?
My Bible Study group just started the book The Bible Timeline: The Story of Salvation. It is an in depth study of the Old Testament. We started in Genesis and I never realized how much I can relate to Adam and Eve. I’ve learned many interesting points that I had read right over before. God created man and woman on the 6th day and then rested on the 7th. I never thought about why, but in this study I learned it’s because man was created for the 7th day. We were created to rest in God’s glory everyday of our life forever and ever. But it’s not enough for us and it wasn’t for Adam and Eve either, they ate that apple.
I “eat the apple” every day. Satan manipulates me just like he did Eve.
“You certainly will not die! No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods who know what is good and what is bad.” Genesis 3:4
Satan is very cunning and he knows just the right words, “Those kids are just awful…they don’t respect you, they don’t listen, the only thing that woks is when you yell.” So I yell. “You are a horrible person for yelling like that.” The cycle of satan is exhausting. When Adam and Eve gave into him sin entered the world, their eyes were opened to evil and shame. So why was the stinking tree there in the first place? The Church says it was there for their pleasure in the future when they were more mature. God knew they were not ready for the tree yet, so He prohibited them from eating its fruit. We all know right from wrong and what is best for us, we may not completely understand why, but we have to trust in God’s goodness.
He wanted only beauty for Adam and Eve, don’t you think He wanted to say “It’s okay that you ate the apple, I’ll let it slide this one time.” But He couldn’t, the damage had been done and the consequences had to follow. Just like a child if there are no consequences we never learn. When we get caught doing something wrong we think of the aftermath as punishment, but it is actually Gods mercy. In our study Jeff Cavins, the author, says the punishment is actually the pleasure we get from the sin, the desire to do it again, the addiction is our true punishment. Recognizing the impact of our sin is mercy because that is the only way to make it right.
But just when Genesis is at its peak of despair God offers hope.
Then the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you shall be banned from all the animals and from all the wild creatures, and dirt shall you eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers. He will strike at your head while you strike at his heel.” Genesis 3:14-15
In this verse we find the promise of our savior Jesus Christ. The woman and her offspring that will be enemies with Satan is Mary and her son Jesus. God does not abandon us for sinning He offers a way out.
Sin gets between God and I, it puts a wedge in our relationship. That’s why I can see God so clearly in Katie, there is nothing but love between the two of them. I want that! And the beauty of God’s mercy offers that to me every day.