Slavery to Sin
My life is far from perfect, I have many issues, struggles, and challenges that I deal with every day, as do all of us. In today's society, mediated & transmitted to us as it is by Facebook and Twitter, I think it can often seem that everyone else has all the fun, that everyone else's life is perfect. This can lead you to think that you are the only one struggling. This is not true. everyone struggles.
This morning, as regularly happens in my life, I found myself in conversation with someone, face to face, about the troubles in their life. There are lots of petty troubles in this persons life which seem to be fairly obviously about a lack of spiritual depth, but he just does not get that. He regularly asserts his general affinity with Catholicism, but states that a lot of it is rubbish. When I ask him what bits he is referring to, he demurs to answer, usually saying something like "Let's not get into that!"
Why does this chap always, always, want to talk to me about this stuff, but at the same time, doesn't really want to get into the nitty-gritty of the solution? I think it is because he knows. He knows that he is wrong, but hasn't got the maturity at this stage of his life to admit that he has made these mistakes. Because he cannot admit to his mistakes, he cannot say sorry, he cannot ask for forgiveness from those who are immediately involved, from God, and most importantly, this means he cannot forgive himself. So he acts as though these issues are not really issues. But then he goes on and on and on about them to me, seeking comfort, seeking advice, like he has sand in his pants or something. He won't deal with the sand, but while it is there, he can't relax.
When we talk about the slavery of sin, this is what we mean. We mean that we enslave ourselves, chain ourselves to our pain and carry it around with us.
As I started off saying, my life is far from perfect, but I cope much better with the hardships I have to bear because I have faith. I turn to God with my pain and sorrow and I say sorry. I say sorry that I can't fix this on my own and I ask Him to pour grace into my life so that I can be better. I think it is this self-awareness that makes me good at listening, but also gives me the courage to say to others who are struggling, "I know your pain, I've been there. The only one who can help you, the one who you are really searching for, is God."