"Having a blog is like wandering around your house naked with the windows open; it's all very liberating until someone looks in the window. However, while being caught unawares is one thing, it is quite another to stroll up to the window and press your naked, flabby body against the coolness of the glass in a hideous form of vertical prostration for all the world to see..." These posts are the smudges that are left behind on the window.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Embracing Sin

I typically have 3 or 4 books on the go at any one time. They are usually fairly deep, which accounts for my watching too much TV: my brain sometimes needs the mind numbing aspects that only TV can give. One of the ones that I am currently reading is a book by Franciscan priest Richard Rohr entitled Falling Upward. (All you evangelicals out here take a deep breath and keep reading). It is quite fascinating. He makes several very insightful observations and statements, but the one that just stuck out at me is this;

"We clergy have gotten ourselves into the job of sin management instead of sin transformation. 'If you are not perfect, then you are doing something wrong,' we have taught people. We have blamed the victim, or have had little pity for victims, while daring to worship the victim image of God. Our mistakes are something to be pitied and healed much more than hated, denied, or perfectly avoided. I do not think you should get rid of your sin until you have learned what it has to teach you. Otherwise, it will only return in new forms, as Jesus says of the unclean spirit that returns to the house all 'swept and tidied' (Luke 11:24-26); then he rightly and courageously says that 'the last state of the house will be worse than the first'."

I don't think this is the strict purview of the Catholic clergy - evangelicals are just as guilty. And more, I don't think this is limited to clergy only. We as individual Christians also have this attitude - perhaps we have learned it from our pulpits, but it's still there.

Rohr has written another book, The Enneagram. It is an ancient physiological tool believed to have started with the Sufi mystics. It is the first of all these modern variations like left-brain/right-brain tests that are designed to help us be more self aware. The one thing the Enneagram shows, that the others don't, however, is that our greatest weakness is also our greatest strength. One of the premises of Falling Upward, I think, is that only in falling can we move onward and upward.

So, what do do you think? Do you try to embrace your sin and learn from it, or do you try and forget it and just move on?


  1. For sure we should learn from it. Embrace what it teaches us. But I struggle with the thought that I can carry on in destructive behaviour that affects others in a negative way. Must we not "repent", as in turn away from it? Change direction? Hmmm...food for thought. Thanks Rudy.


  2. I don't think it's a matter of hanging on to it, but of not letting it go until we have learned from it.


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