1 John is another one of those little books with bits of wisdom to chew on.
One passage that intrigues me is when it calls for us to pray for sin that don’t lead to death (1 John 5:16-17). It has us leave sin that leads to death alone.
I think this is fascinating.
What exactly the difference John sees between the two remains unknown, but allow me this: I like the fact that John has us focus on these little sins.
We’re always aware of the big sins: adultery and murder and devil worship. But it’s the little sins that so often go unchecked. Things like sloth, wastefulness, irritability, and envy. These are the types of sins that we tend of disregard. We’re not going around kicking babies and clubbing seals, so we’re good. In fact, we would go so far as to say these features are just part of us.
Christ calls us to be more like Him (Ephesians 5:1). Sometimes it’s perceived that means is that God wants to Etch A Sketch everything about us and superimpose His face onto our own, as if we’re this grand error waiting to be corrected. Rather, we’re a beautiful thing, waiting to be perfected.
Rest assured. Christ loves You. He designed You, brought You into this Earth, and died and rose again so YOU could be with HIM forever in heaven.
But God wants us to be best version of ourselves that we can be.
He doesn’t want you to waste your life saying, “I wish I were more….” or “if only I…” with a sigh of resignation or resentment.
Again, He busted down the doors of heaven and hell so we wouldn’t be stuck in that hell, or any hell for that matter.
I love the show Queer Eye. In it, loved ones of person nominate him or her for a full makeover. Then, a team of experts zooms in their GMC Sierra Denali and begins to go through all the aspects of that person’s life- clothing, hair, social life, eating practices, etc. They look at that person as they are and begin to make changes based on that person’s fundamental identity. Part of that process involves throwing out a lot of junk, part of it involves busting through comfort zones, part of it involves probing questions and lots of encouragement along the way. We call this process tough love.
When you do this process wrong, when we conform to a lofty ideal without grounding it our own personal best, it makes us feel empty and exhausted, violated and defeated even. But when it is is done right, everyone is happy. The makeover teams cries. The client cries. The family members cry. It’s a beautiful thing.
Christ wants this for you to fulfill our specially designed purpose, to become the best of us and the most of Him.
1 John says the first step in this process is to pray. Pray for God to reveal those little sins, the things that go unnoticed yet inevitably hold us back. Pray that God will give you the wisdom on what to do with that knowledge. Then take action, bring people in. Help each other achieve this greater goal.
Be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 9:7), and in all things bless Christ, who designed us from the very beginning to do great things (Ephesians 2:10).