Gleanings (01/04/12) – Who Sinned?

John 9:1-12, 35-38

“It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be made manifest in him.”

Beware of judging or allowing yourself to be judged by appearances. It is rather commonplace in charismatic Christian circles these days to associate one’s misfortune with either a deficit of faith or unrepented sin or some combination of the two. To be sure unrepented sin is a problem. For some it is outward rebellion, just won’t give it up. For others, they are totally clueless. They hear Nathan say to David, “you the man” and they get all puffed up with bravado rather falling to their knees in shame for their infidelity. And, of course, with the helpless father of the possessed son we can always say “I believe. Help my unbelief.”

But misfortune is not necessarily the consequence of either. Sometimes we are dealing with the consequences of repented sin. Repenting of stealing doesn’t eliminate the investigation, trial or sentence. Sometimes we are dealing with the consequences of other people’s sin. We are collateral damage. How many spouses find themselves bankrupt following a divorce precipitated by the other’s adultery? Sometimes we are dealing with the consequences of sin generally as in the fall of man. I for one believe some cancer emanates from the fall when everything was fractured and ceased to work as designed. So cells no longer always divide in the right way. My illness may be due to sin but not any of which I can repent personally.

So Lord, deliver us from presumption. Don’t let us fall into the trap of measuring outward appearances without any knowledge of the heart. Remind us that we will be judged with the measure with which we judge others.

Too Lord, deliver us from pain heaped upon us by the presumptuous. Cause us to repent when we should but guard us from guilt and shame for things over which we have no control. Open the eyes of those who would so carelessly presume.

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