“Remember, too, that knowing what is right to do and then not doing it, is sin.” (James 4:17, Life Application Bible)
My husband likes to watch Live Police Department on A&E. The program follows police officers from the East Coast to the West Coast and everywhere in between, showing what police officers do every day.
I have no idea why I awakened the other morning having the title of this column on my mind. Maybe watching too much Live PD.
I did begin to think about how awful it must be to be handcuffed. Fortunately, I have never had to endure that happening to me.
Sin, however, is something I have endured over my years and it is darkness “complete,” with no light at all shining on me.
As we sin, we are “handcuffed” to that sin and then we feel “them” begin to tighten our very soul into darkness.
The only way we can become released from those handcuffs of sin is to return to God, our Father in Heaven, and seek His forgiveness.
Maybe our hands are not actually handcuffed, but our souls certainly are “bound” by the tightness of the sins we commit, that tighten our whole being and start drawing us away from God.
I think of my life being connected to God by a Silver Thread of Love, that glistens in the sun, and it reaches upward toward the sky above me, all the way to Heaven.
My heart suffers great pain for those I see who do not “act” as Jesus tried to teach us to act toward one another. Some of mankind get too caught up in who they are. Even in our churches, we forget that Jesus is who we should be seeking. Too many get caught up in man’s laws, restrictions on who can be welcomed into the fold.
As I see this, I cringe to think of the millions of people who are falling away from the church. Just the other day I was reading statistics that seared by soul with pain. It is hard for me to imagine what is happening in our world of today.
Not being clergy, I only speak from the “earthly” person that I am, sinner that I am, and one who has felt the pain of rejection so many times, in so many ways in life.
Being a teacher and a social service worker in life, I have seen and felt the pain and anguish of “broken” children’s spirits; those who are hungry, not only for food or needing a place to shelter themselves, but those who are persecuted for just being poor. I have seen the actions of many in the higher ranks of life, belittle servers in fancy restaurants, and other people that work in a servicing position in life, being made to feel less than those they are serving.
Living in many various places during my life time, I have been around those who are “newly rich,” “old time rich,” upper echelon military, congressmen, different denominations of clergy; those who were suffering drug and alcohol addiction; those who walked the streets in search of someone, something to “unhandcuff” them from the torment and sins of their lives.
I have walked into bars and met what I perceived may have been an angel; stood outside a bar in Nashville and listened to two young men pour their heart out to me; while all the many sounds of the music, cars and people’s voices blended into “just noise;” while smelling the vomit of a drunk (and this person, perceived by man, to be a drunk, still loved by God so much) coming from a barrel by me, and talked about God. I listened to a young woman who professed to being a witch and hopefully gave some enlightenment to her about how God truly loves us all.
Yes, indeed, God does love all of us. He is just waiting for us to ask Him to unlock those handcuffs of sin. We can do that, only through the Key of Faith that we must all find, to release us from the grip of those sins of life.
We each one, if we pray and ask God to guide us, can be that Key of Faith for those who are suffering, no matter what status they are in life.
It is up to each and every one of us to listen to God’s direction in helping to serve Him and help our family.
Do not go to church just to “go.” Go to worship God, feel Jesus and the Holy Spirit, commune with your fellow parishioners. I love when there is a coffee hour; however, sometimes what is shown in the sanctuary is not shown once we leave and go our separate ways. If you have a coffee hour, do you approach anyone who may be new, anyone who may have sat many Sundays by themselves without introducing yourselves to them; have you given a newcomer a really heartfelt welcome or have you just left it up to others, and then those who really need to be welcomed come away saddened and not feeling very welcome at all?
I have been in both positions during my lifetime ... the shy one who did not approach someone new and the new one who no one really paid much attention to.
Remember, newcomers to your churches; people you meet by chance; old-time friends you may have let fade out of your life; the homeless; and the list goes on of whom you can give new hope and life” to, just by being God’s Key of Faith that unlocks their handcuffs of sin and sorrow and brings them hope and love. Let them know that they, we are all in God’s family and they are welcome.