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Question 2

I often pay all-consuming attention to my sin. I never feel like I measure up, and so many sermons in church and talks I hear on the radio bring me to a kind of despair and shame over my unworthiness. I have been wondering what my attitude about my sin should be, especially when we are told to be sensitive to sin and confess our sins regularly.

I think what you are describing is the downside of a careful, conscientious nature. I suspect it is part of many people’s experience. Certainly, consciousness of sin and knowledge of the particulars is a biblical principle. One of my students wrote this about her awareness of this problem, a realization she came to during a Good Friday service: “The service I went to last night convicted me of a sin whose gravity I did not really see earlier. I repented because I had been doubting God’s love.” She goes on to note that the believer’s awareness of sin “should not lead to self-defeating shame, but to joy and gratitude to God who has ransomed us by His great love.” She admits that she has failed to grasp that immense love and realizes she needs to take God’s love seriously. To doubt that love, she adds, is to be “ungrateful and irreverent” about what Jesus did in His death and resurrection.

To help meditate on God’s love, I would recommend reading the words of some of the great hymns, such as “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” or “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”, the last verse of which reads,

“What language shall I borrow
To thank Thee dearest Friend,
for this, Thy dying sorrow,
Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever!
And should I fainting be
Lord, let me never, never,
outlive my love for Thee.”

BY Dr. Rosalie de Rosset

Dr. Rosalie de Rosset has been teaching at Moody Bible Institute in the Communications Department for over five decades. She is occasionally featured on Moody Radio. Rosalie is a published author, respected speaker, and talented writer. She lives on the northside of Chicago, a city she enjoys for its natural beauty and multi-faceted art offerings.

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