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Sin: Doing or Being

February 28, 2009

[Warning: This post starts with some disturbing content – be prepared]

In past 8-12 months, here’s what I came across while reading the news on my phone:

– A father killed all his children, his wife and then shot himself

– A 4 year old boy shot his mother dead because she bugged him for chores

– A father was arrested for sexually abusing his daughter and the state has taken custody of the baby that was born out of the relationship

– A man walked into a house, opened fire and killed 4 people

– Students opened fire at a university campus and then killed themselves

– It was concluded that a mother who had drowned her baby in the bath tub did not know what she was doing

– Some people burnt others alive because they changed their religion

– An entire family committed suicide, including kids 2/4/7 years of age because of financial crisis

– Farmers hanged themselves because of mounting debts and no crops

I have stopped reading the news.

God knows who we are at the core. He made us. He gave us the Law, as we read in the early chapters of the Bible. Some of it is famous, usually known as Ten Commandments, and there are many laws in addition to those commandments.

Why did God give these Laws?

Because he knows “what we are made of”. He knows our being. He wanted mankind to come to a better understanding of ourselves first, and then of God himself, through the laws. But what did mankind do instead?

We took the law and built a system of judging the doing and not understanding the being. And that is exactly what Jesus Christ was saying when he walked the earth. He was taking them back to the spirit of the law and not just stopping at the letter of the law. As he once said – “I know what is in man”. He knows who we are at the core.

And here was the reason why Jesus Christ was killed – he proclaimed this thought many times, “The law will not set you free from your being, but only judge your doing. You need to come to me to get your being fixed. Only I can do that. No one else has the power to do that”

From the list of news excerpts that I listed in the beginning, how do you wrap your mind around them and analyze them in absence of the being the way Jesus explained it?

Our human wisdom is swift to explain that people, like mentioned in the news list above, are not thinking right. Rene Descartes concluded “I think, therefore I am”. He started with an existential question and arrived at an existential answer. What he probably did not ponder is this “Why do I think what I think?” Surely that would have taken him on a different path – and may be he did go that route and found God – and then denied what he concluded.

I have asked this question many times to the Lord – “Why do I think what I think?” and the answer has always taught me more about who I really am and solidified why my search for God ended at Jesus Christ. He is the only one who tells me, without any doubt or hesitation, that he knows who I am and will fix my being – not my doing.

In my older religious background, there is a cycle of living and doing good and bad. The more good you do, the heavier your bag of “goods”. The more bad you do, the heavier your bag of “bads”. On the day of judgement at the end of each lifetime, your bags of good and bad will be weighed and based on the outcome it will be decided what you will become in the next lifetime. You could become an animal or a human being. Only when you become a human being, you have the most chance of doing “good”. And when your human life is being judged, you better be ready with your bag of goods being heavier than the bag of bads, otherwise you will be stuck in the cycle of rebirths and wait for another human birth. Now if your goods win – then you are set free from the cycle of re-birth. And there was a concept of heaven (swarg) and hell (narak) – but it was not clear if creatures were sent there or once they were set free they just roamed the cosmos.

When I was exposed to this teaching as an adult – there was no way I could have grasped this even at the age of 10 – I wondered what happened the very first time when I was in my first “birth” and it was my first opportunity to “think” and “do” something. And then in all subsequent opportunities in the same life. I must have done more bads than goods. Otherwise why would I be born as a human now. And if this is my first birth – then I better make sure my goods outweigh my bads.

Now you see what I grew up with – but I could never internalize this and could never agree that life is just this – trying to do good and avoid doing bad as much as I can.  And of course, fear of god was the motivator for doing good. But at the same time, I knew there is something in me that prohibits me from being my “best” all the time. I lusted, I had pride, I struggled with everything that a single man struggles with, and found that how much ever hard I work I will come short of my own genuine desire of being good. Why can I not be what I know I want to be – as pure and clean as a spring of living water?

When Adam chose to disobey God, His Creator the Father, it hurt the Father most because Adam had not chosen their relationship but the counsel of the wicked (whom we call satan or devil). Adam forgot his relationship with his Father – his being was marred forever. And Jesus restored the human being by his life. He lived in perfect harmony with the Father in Heaven. He gave his all to preserve that harmony. He never let his human being let the Father down – ever!

And so I had hope – that this Jesus will restore my being. He will show me why I think what I think. He will explain to me why I do what I don’t want to do and don’t do what I want to do.

And Jesus has been faithful so far. And he promises to be faithful, until I am ready for Him. He is not in the business of fixing my doing and making me a better christian. He is in the business of giving me blood transfusion and a heart transplant. And when he starts working – all I need to do is get out of his way and let him,  The Master Surgeon – who does not use anaesthesia, work on me.

Consider for a moment – Do you strive to be good? Do you want to be good? Do you want to be righteous in the eyes of God? Then stop praying to Jesus for making you a better person by forgiving your sinful doings. Ask him to work on your being. He is waiting to pick up the scalpel!

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