Anonymous asked: Hey Unka, I need a little advice. It seems like all I ever focus on when I’m alone or praying is my sin. In a lot of ways I feel like I’m being selfish, always thinking and talking to Him about my problems. It’s hindering my relationship with God and I feel like it’s become an idol in my life. Whenever I try to pray now, I don’t know where to start, because I think I based a lot of my relationship with God on my sin. I know He’s so much more, I just don’t know exactly how to get to that point. [edited for length]
Unka Glen answered: This is an awesome question, based on a walk with the Lord that is reached a point of authenticity and realness. So let’s take a second to congratulate you for reaching this milestone in your walk. I am truly proud of you.
On one hand, there isn’t anything wrong with going to God and talking about your problems and struggles, in fact, I’d say about 99% of all sin comes from failing to go to God and talk about your struggles. But what you’re talking about is the sense that there should be something beyond the confession, mourning of sins, and then accepting forgiveness. And you’re so right.
You said the way you view your sin has become like an idol to you. Which sounds weird, and kinda nuts, but when you really think about it, it makes perfect sense. Really anything that steals focus off of our relationship with Christ, and gets us focused on ourselves is bad, but when you add that sense of religiosity to it, that sense that you’ve replaced grace and a relationship with rules and endless confession, that’s a false religion for sure.
And I think we’ve all been there at one point or another.
We end up making sin the “currency” of our relationship with God. If I sin, it’s like I owe God, and I have to take out forgiveness on credit, and I’m gonna have to pay this forgiveness back at some point in the future by being good. But this is not Christianity. The last word Jesus said from the cross was “tetelestai” (it is finished, in English). In the ancient world, this word was used to stamp contracts to indicate that they were paid in full.
Your sins are paid for, you’ve already accepted the payment for those sins, and you’re serious about fighting the sin you have in your life, so that’s about enough of that. What about everything else? When does this relationship get intimate?
So let’s try a challenge. Take a week, or maybe just a weekend, and go to God with this prayer:
“Lord, I know there’s so much you long to tell me, but I hardly ever let you get a word in because I’m always running away, and then coming back all full of confession, and then running away again. So for the next few days I’m not going to confess anything. You know what I’m doing wrong, and you know I’m sorry for it, so for a few days, we’ll let that be understood. I want to tell you everything else going on with me, and I want to be still and listen to you. I think if I do that, maybe I’ll have more of what I need to actually fight these sins.”
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