Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sin and failing - part I

Lately, I’ve been thinking some about the difference between a sin and a failing. For example, if I gossip about a friend to make myself look better in front of someone else… that’s not a mistake, that’s sinful behaviour. But if I muck up an appointment time and arrive 20 minutes late to something I really wanted to be on time for, chances are that’s a failing. It was simply a product of being a fallible human being who cannot get everything right all of the time. I know there can be a fine line there: chronic lateness because I am too lazy or selfish to get my act together is a different problem. But sometimes it is just an honest mistake. 

Occasionally, however, I find myself ruminating over something I’ve messed up with a great deal more emotion than the situation really deserves. If I can’t run as fast as others, or I’m pretty terrible at remembering phone numbers, or my singing voice is fit only for the shower… those are failings, not sins. And I ought to let those go through to the keeper without a great deal of fuss on my part. I will not get everything right and I will not be good at all things and I do not need to get myself in a knot about that. If I put a dent in the car, I need to repair the damage, say I’m sorry, and move on.

So that’s my little self-talk when I get in a lather over some stupid error on my part. I say, “Is it a sin or failing?” If it’s a failing, get over it.


Petrina said...

Good thoughts, Deb. I read them at lunch time, then had 'one of those' afternoons. I realised this evening that my failure to 'move on' from my failings leaves me more susceptible to sin, particularly taking my frustrations out on the kids. An interesting interaction that I hadn't noticed before. Thanks.

Deb said...

Thanks, Petrina, for the encouragement.