Good, Beautiful, and Kind
Week 1: A Failure to Love
Longing for the Good, Beautiful, and Kind
The yearning for goodness, beauty, and kindness is universal—words that resonate not only within families but across nations and the world. However, in the harsh reality of our existence, these ideals often seem elusive. In this new series, we embark on a journey to explore the obstacles hindering goodness, beauty, and kindness and learn how to cultivate wholeness in our world.
The Twisted World
Langston Hughes, a prominent African-American poet, painted a vivid picture of a twisted world in his poem “Tired.” His metaphor of cutting the world in two reveals a desire to expose the underlying issues that hinder goodness, beauty, and kindness. Just as teenagers might use the term “twisted” to describe something flipped or backward, Hughes urges us to delve beneath the surface and address the worms that consume the core of our societal problems.
Unveiling the Worm of Sin
Sin, a word often avoided in public discourse, is the first worm we confront in our quest for the good, beautiful, and kind. While not a popular subject, understanding sin is crucial to identifying and addressing the deeper issues plaguing our world. In Romans 3:23-25, the Apostle Paul provides insights into the nature of sin and its impact on humanity.
Sin – More Than Specific Actions
Sin is not merely the individual actions we categorize as wrong but a pervasive power that holds humanity captive. Paul’s perspective in Romans 7 highlights the struggle of being under the force of sin, unable to break free. The church’s focus on specific sins often overlooks the deeper issue of sin itself, a power that distorts our connection with God.
Saint Augustine’s profound definition of sin as being “curved in on oneself” reveals the essence of our struggle. The greatest sin, according to Jesus, is a failure to love—both God and our neighbors. Sin’s power manifests in our inability to live out the greatest commandment, resulting in brokenness and chaos.
The Good News – Conquering Sin through the Cross
The reality of sin can only be understood in relation to its conqueror, Jesus Christ. The cross, where Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead, releases a power that frees us from the dominion of sin. This realization is the solution to the problem of sin that pervades our world.
The cross holds profound implications for our lives. First, it reminds us that God’s grace is greater than our individual sins. Understanding the depth of our sin allows us to fully appreciate the magnitude of God’s grace. Second, God’s grace extends beyond our sins to encompass the sins of our neighbors. This recognition challenges us to extend grace to others, fostering unity and understanding.
Sin as Our Hope – Positioning Us for Redemption
Barbara Brown Taylor’s provocative statement, “Sin is our only hope,” challenges us to recognize the brokenness within ourselves and the world. Acknowledging the problem positions us to receive the solution found in Jesus Christ. Sin, in this context, becomes the gateway to redemption, urging us to embrace the transformative power of the cross.
The Practice of Confession – Living in the Reality of Redemption
As we absorb the good news of God’s grace overcoming sin, a transformative practice emerges—confession. Confessing our sins before God and one another allows us to live in the reality of redemption. Christians, understanding the depth of their own sin and the grace of God, should lead the way in confessing their sins, fostering authenticity and credibility in a broken world.