Monday, December 15, 2008

Advent Reflections

December 15th

“There is therefore now no condemnation…” Romans 8:1

If we have experienced trauma, especially in our childhood, we can develop a victim’s mentality. Being a victim of someone’s sin is a terrible experience. However I don’t believe it is being a victim that is the worst part. It’s that we choose to see ourselves as victim that disables us, possibly the rest of our lives.
The anecdote for the victim mindset is the presence of God and the realization of our own sin. As a victim we tend to blame others, never seeing our own sin. We believe we have the privilege to treat others harshly because we are hurt and bitter ourselves. We become self absorbed and judgmental. This is devastating not only to others, but mostly to ourselves.
My darkest moments through this journey were not related to my experience as victim, but were when my own actions hurt someone else. When I was able to truly see the weight of my own sin, it devastated me. So many of us think we are “good” people- after all we have never committed murder, stolen, or committed adultery. But the bible says all have sinned- that includes you and me. The light of God will expose our sin in its many forms. We must see we are sinners in order to realize our need for the cross.
We must see our sin so we can forgive others who have hurt us.
I love the Message version of Isaiah 53:

“But the fact is, it was our (my) pains he carried- our (my) disfigurements, all the things wrong with us (me).
We thought he brought it on himself, that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our (my) sins that did that to him, that ripped and tore and crushed him- our (my) sins!”

Through the darkness of realizing how mangled with sin I am, comes the light of Christ. The baby born in a stable makes his home in a human heart that seems impossible to change. He whispers that there is therefore now no condemnation in Christ.
The darkness lifts and I see his grace in a way I couldn’t before. His life floods me with hope. May it flood you with hope today.

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