Laughing At Our Sin

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I’ve been thinking lately–which I know might be a dangerous thing–about the issues we all have. This all happened after I counseled some of our students who told me they were ‘struggling’ with sin.

We talked about Scripture and Jesus and still felt like we were back at square one. I thought about what sin means if you’re in Christ. Being in Christ means you have been set free. And freedom is something to take joy in.

There are a few passages in Scripture that just floor me. You know what I’m talking about? Even a cursory reading leaves you with goosebumps. One of these for me is Romans 6, where Paul says that we died to sin, so how can we let it go on living?

I’ve always been impressed with the strong language used in the New Testament to describe death and sin and crucifixion. It’s final and intense. The words were used to describe events that were not PG, but graphic. Think Cohen brothers meets Stephen King. We’re talking gruesome.

The writing is strong because death is ultimate. When Paul says we died to sin, he means we actually died. Sin doesn’t hold a candle to us anymore. Our debt has been paid. It’s final. We can’t ignore the power of his words. As Jesus died, so, too, did we.

So when people tell me about the struggle of sin, my advice might sound kind of strange. I tell them to laugh at it.

No, I’m not taking sin lightly, or saying it’s not a big deal. Quite the opposite, actually. I”m just being more serious about grace and the sacrifice of Christ.

So, go ahead, and laugh at your sin.

Laugh with joy that people like us, people who are egregious sinners, have died to sin.

Laugh that God responded in loving kindness towards us, when we deserved judgment.

Laugh that Jesus took it all for you for me.

Recently I was talking with a friend about dealing with crises in ministry. We shared stories of counseling parents and teens, of showing up in difficult situations and not having words or insight on how to help with the issue.

We talked about how we just prayed and listened because we didn’t know what else to do. We both agreed that these situations are usually super intense and the tension is palpable. Sometimes you feel so incredibly lost.

But the thing is, God can take even the most dire of situations and bring change. We talked about how we’ve witnessed that and how unbelievably life-giving it is when we step back and see what God does.

No one is too far gone to receive grace. And no situation, regardless of its complexity, is outside of God’s redemption.

Jesus was adamant about love and grace and being set free. Sin is serious and heavy and life-altering. But the power of new life, of being set free, that is even greater.

There’s rejoicing, Jesus says, when the lost are found and when sinners realize their place in the family of God.

When you find yourself back at square one, with that sin sticking its ugly head out of the gutter where you left it, laugh at the beauty of grace and the gift of second and third and millionth chances.

We serve a God who is good and loving and has given us new life.

Remember, sin does not hold us anymore. Grace does. Jesus died for sinners and that includes us.

Call out to God. Open your arms to him and take part in some joy-filled, gut-wrenching, and utterly reckless laughter.

Present your sin to him because He will take it. In fact, He already has.

That is good news.

And that is plenty to laugh at.

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