8 If we claim, “We don’t have any sin,” we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from everything we’ve done wrong. 10 If we claim, “We have never sinned,” we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
2 My little children, I’m writing these things to you so that you don’t sin. But if you do sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. 2 He is God’s way of dealing with our sins, not only ours but the sins of the whole world.
There’s a unique stitching that may seem out of place but can prove whether a rug is authentically made by someone of the Navajo culture – it’s called ch’ihónít’i which means “spirit line” in English. It’s a stitching that disrupts the pattern of the rug and connects the inner color to the outer edge. There are two reasons for this: one is that it was believed that part of the weavers own self became part of the weaving and the line acted as a way for the spirit to exit the rug. The second reason though, is from the understanding that we as humans as flawed, unlike God, and that the imperfection reflects the self. This is just one of many different practices across the globe of purposely adding imperfections to artwork and architecture to humbly honor God and acknowledge human flaws.
Today’s text is asking something very similar of us as these artists, weavers and tradespeople who purposely acknowledge their own human imperfection: we sin. We all sin. None of us are exempt from this. The best, most useful place to start is by admitting it. I would add not just admitting it with a blanket “everyone’s a sinner” kind of sentiment, but by truly trying to acknowledge when we sin so that we can learn from it and try to be better. It’s helpful to try to identify an actual definition for sin, I’ll lend you mine: anything that turns me away from God.
So in this world of displaying the perfect image of social media and the constant expectations of successfulness – remember that acknowledging our sin is not a weakness, it’s actually having God’s word in us. Though we sin, the humility to admit it is a gift.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Have you ever tried to define sin? It’s not as easy as you may think. Are flaws sins? Is every wrong necessarily a sin? What if your heart was in the right place even if it went wrong? Does the outcome matter in whether or not it’s a sin? I challenge you to write down a one sentence definition for sin – a definition that can be helpful in your acknowledging your sins as a source of personal growth.
Prayer: Perfect Lord, you know our sins better than we do. Nothing escapes your sight. But you are faithful and have forgiven our sins before we even confess them. Advocate God, you have gifted not only us but the whole world the freedom from drowning in sin. May we take it. Amen.