I can’t relate to much of what Lecrae has experienced except for when the light began to break into his darkness. From that point forward in his story he’s telling my story. Is he telling yours?
Why do you work?
It may seem like a simple question, but there are multiple layers to the answers we give.
Answer 1: Because I can. I work because I can work. Somehow someone saw me as valuable and they hired me to do a job that was worth doing.
Answer 2: Because I should. God interpreted man’s existence quite simply in Genesis 2:15. He was to work and care for creation. A few thousand years go by and God commands a nation of former slaves, who undoubtedly worked long days every day, to work six days and rest on the seventh (Exodus 34:21). And in Thessalonica Paul instructs the church that he who does not work should not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). I earn a living and this should be a testimony to the redemption that has taken place in my life.
Answer 3: Because I am. I am an ambassador of Jesus Christ. I am an adopted son of the Most High God. I am bought by the blood of Jesus to do good. I have been reconciled with God to do what God originally intended. So, in the use of my skills, gifts, and talents I glorify Him who gave His life for my sake. Creating, serving, working are acts of worship because I am Redeemed.
I heard the other day that someone tried to excuse their life choices by using the “my sin is no worse than your sin” excuse. Hypothetically speaking, when people use this excuse they tend to compare their adultery with my speeding.
All Sin is Created Equal, Right?
The reality is that all sins are the same in that they are a rebellious act against God and are punishable by death (Romans 6:23); however, not all sin, in the context of our lives, carry the same mortal consequences. The damage a sin does in the lives of the perpetrators and the victims can be different by orders of magnitude. Even within the context of the Ten Commandments there were different maximum penalties a community could impose upon an offender. In other words, Jews didn’t sentence someone to death by stoning or any other method for stealing and killing an Ox (Exodus 22:1). Death was reserved for the sorcerers (Exodus 22:18), adulterers (Leviticus 20:10), murderers (Numbers 35), idol worshipers (Exodus 22:20) and those that curse their parents (Leviticus 20:9).
We even see differentiation of sin in the New Testament. Sexual sin ranks as one of the most destructive sins because of the injury to others and to self. In 1 Corinthians 6 we see Paul single out sexual sin as being different than any other type of sin in that it destroys us on the outside and inside.
When Paul wrote his letter to the Romans he directly rebukes this idea that sin is justifiable. He spends the majority of the letter addressing the relationship a Christian now has with the law. It’s worth reading Romans in one sitting because of the progressive nature of defining the life in Christ against a life under the law.
Just because Christians are no longer held to the specific standards of the law does not mean that we should go and do anything that we please even if it means that God can be glorified in redeeming us from the most detestable life we could live. While we cannot be made righteous by keeping the law it does not mean that the law should not be kept. The reality is that for those of us in whom the Spirit of Jesus lives we will be led to do right things by the Spirit, and the power of Sin will lead us to do the wrong things. So, while the penalty for sinning has been taken care of…the power of sin remains our enemy and when we side with the enemy we fail to be ministers of reconciliation. Instead we become ministers of destruction.