Stop being shocked by sin
Sin doesn't shock me anymore. It used to catch me off guard but not so much now. When a popular Christian leader is caught in some sort of scandal or walks away from the faith, it makes me sad, but it no longer feels like the world has flipped upside-down. The world is already upside-down...this is not news. Sin is devastating and grievous and also the most natural response of a sin-scarred heart. I feel the daily tug to wander...don't you?
Sin doesn't surprise me anymore, but do you know what does? Grace. Faithfulness. Beauty. These are the rarities...the miracles of our time. All of creation is groaning with the curse of sin and yet there are zinnias and love stories and trees that weather storms and stand tall for decades. These things surprise me.
And perhaps the gospel is the most shocking thing of all...not so much the part that we all sin and fall short (that feels like the most predictable part of my story) but rather 1 John 4:10 -
"In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
Christians should not be surprised by the depths of our depravity but rather by the depths of God's love. He is the Author and Finisher and most beautifully shocking part of our story.
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.