Thursday, 23 July 2009

Do I 'despise' God?

I've been working on my workshop for XF a bit tonight. I'm looking at David after he sleeps with Bathsheba and has her husband killed to hide the resulting pregnancy (the Bible is full of these amazing Coronation Street type tales). Anyway, I'm picking up at 2 Samuel 12 when Nathan (a prophet) comes to tell David that what he's just done wasn't really all that great.

Rereading 2 Samuel 12 v 9 and 10 the way Nathan describes David's actions makes me feel slightly uncomfortable. 'You have despised the word of the Lord... you have despised [God] by taking Uriah's wife' [NLT].

The words despised God aren't something I'd like to be used to describe my actions and it's this that makes me feel uncomfortable. I know (head knowledge) that sin is bad, and I know that when I sin it's primarily against God that I sin (which isn't to say I haven't done someone else wrong by it too) and yet... despise is such a strong word - considerably more than the ‘you did a bad thing, have a smack on the wrist’ mentality I can often find myself using when I consider myself to have 'trivially' sinned in some way. Once again, head knowledge says there are no trivial sins, but in all honesty, that's just not how I see it in my everyday life - I probably rank sins a bit like this:
Murder (I'd never do it)
Rape (I'd never do it)
Adultery (I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do this either)
Stealing (I did try this as a kid I'm sure, but I probably didn't mean much by it, and I wouldn't do it now)
Lying (well I might do this occasionally, but they're small lies and I don't mean much harm by them)
Swearing (I wish I didn't do this and I don't do it often)
Yes, not only do I rank sins, but I also try and justify them and myself as I go. I know that in God's eyes all Sins are equal, but with human eyes that's awfully hard to see. Much easier is to line all the Sins I can think of up, large to small, feel pleased that I can say "I don't do that" to a great swathe of them, and so consider that those times I do say or do* something I shouldn't have to be excusable with a quick 'sorry' and a 'Thank you that you are a forgiving God'.

Going back to the passage, the language in these verses points to Sin being a way of showing a hatred for or devaluing God -- something that makes me feel a lot more uncomfortable about the things I do wrong. I know that when I sin I sin against God, but how often do I think about what that really means? :s

* It's also much harder to challenge myself over those things I think rather than do or say despite the fact that these are undoubtedly more numerous and would probably sit higher up my Sin list.

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