"No punishment anyone might
inflict on us could possibly be worse than the
punishment we inflict on ourselves by conspiring
in our own diminishment." -- Parker
We tread lightly and reluctantly,
afraid to face charges of political incorrectness, insensitivity, judgmentalism, or intolerance.
So, in the interest of maintaining social standing and superficial niceties
we avoid calling sin by its name.
As any physician will attest,
diagnosis is crucial. Until the problem can be
identified and named, any effort at treatment will
likely be ineffective or dangerous. An asthmatic attack does not
require antibiotics, nor does heart disease
require an inhaler.
The same applies to our
The ancient prophets in Israel
functioned as "spiritual diagnosticians." As
the wealthy prospered and the poor suffered, the prophets
stepped forward with words like "injustice,"
"immorality," and "idolatry." They spoke the names of
They proved vital in alerting their
contemporaries to the spiritual sickness in
the land, and their labels need dusting off in our
Ignorance and secrecy
continue to conspire together to hold
God's people and God's creation in
We cannot treat what
we cannot identify and since the Garden of Eden
every human being has suffered spiritual blind-spots. We
need "prophets" as much today as ever, though they
seldom receive a warm welcome. Perhaps we could become
occasional "prophets" for each other, in love.
bondage. And the path to freedom requires both
someone to "name it" and us to hear it.
binds us. If we refuse to tell the
doctor that we've had shooting pain down our left
leg and oppressive weight on our chest, we risk
a massive coronary attack. Similarly, sin's power lies in secrecy. We fear
shining light in the dark corner. What will people
think? And, in the process, invite spiritual disease
The journey to freedom
involves not just steps to put on Christ,
but also steps to put off sin. That means naming
it, not to shame each other but to shore each
other up. It means confession of the darkness that
we harbor in our souls.
And we shall be free
To know Christ more fully and the Father more
intimately, requires that we name and confront
the enemies within and among us. May
we open those doors to the fresh breeze of
In HOPE -