God's Law for All

In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He heard me.
Deliver my soul, O
Lord, from lying lips.
And from a deceitful tongue.” Psalm 120:1-2

 As humans, we are all marked by sin. As the psalmist in the verses above, we too have things we struggle with, sinful tendencies, which are constantly plaguing us and tearing us down. And too like the psalmist we need God to deliver us from our tendency to sin because on our own we do not have the ability to resist it.

But, on the other hand, when we look to verses like James 2:10 which say, “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.” It seems like God is contradicting Himself and telling us that the burden of working out our sin is all upon our shoulders. How do we weigh the two together and still come out in agreement that they both point to the same manner of living? The relation between the two can be found within a story I want to share with you about my oldest son, who when he was younger struggled with Asperger Syndrome.

As a preschooler, my son had a terrible time behaving and keeping his rages in order, because as it turned out he was experiencing the effects of low serotonin in his system, the body's natural calming chemical (that is a whole different story to share about his healing and you can find that story by going to the following link). Each day as he struggled to control his behavior and do the right things, which we were teaching him as parents, he complained that it just seemed so much easier for his younger brother to do what was right. As a parent, I knew both my boys struggled with their own tendencies to do right, but this son was correct in the fact that his sins were much more transparent and detrimental to others because of the way God made him and also because of the way he acted out on the aggravating circumstances in his life.

It was a difficult route to take as a parent to discipline the older one over and over again knowing that he did not want to do what he was doing, and yet just because he had a harder time controlling himself I could not in my right mind allow him to just act out in ways that were harmful to our other family members. This conflict was something God allowed me to find peace in when I finally came across the verse in James 2 and I realized that no matter how each of us are wired or handicapped with our own personal sinful tendencies, that nothing affords us a get out a jail free card from sin. The measure of the law is the same for all no matter what effort we are required to put into it.

As I went on to relate this revelation to groups which I then spoke to about child training, I transmitted this truth to the results by which progression of slacked laws for those handicapped in one manner or another by sin leads to. Say for instance a child has an issue with anger and in that anger he acts out by verbally abusing those around him. But, in trying to be a compassionate parent you just say, “He can't control those outbursts.”, and therefore overlook them to a great extent. Now fast forward 20 years into that young man's future where he still struggles with his verbal outbursts and takes them into the workplace and into his relationships with friends and a spouse. Is it still right for this young man to keep verbally abusing those around him because of his tendency to sin in this manner? Sadly our court system now says yes, but we as Christians should realize that the law written by God is for all men to follow to their best abilities no matter what hinders them, and then after our working out that obedience to the law we are covered in grace for our failures. We need to strive to our utmost in meeting the requirements the Lord puts before us, then be willing to accept His grace for those things our efforts have left us wanting in.

I hope my story above has helped you sort the difference out between God's grace and His command for us to work out our own salvation. It truly is a matter of self-discipline amidst our own nature, a progression towards perfection, and a constant work of grace, all working in tantrum. The main point to this lesson though is, We are to not give up at any point along this road to perfection and just give into the fact that we are going to fail and fall short of God's law. Instead, we press on, doing the best we can; men, women, and children alike; knowing that our efforts are counted as obedience towards the law of the Lord and the rest is covered by the grace Jesus offers to us keep us unburdened and ready to keep moving towards the goal of perfection and the defeat of evil.

I write to you, little children,
Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake.
I write to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I write to you, young men,
Because you have overcome the wicked one.
I write to you, little children,
Because you have known the Father.
I have written to you, fathers,
Because you have known Him who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men,
Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you,
And you have overcome the wicked one.”
1 John 2:12-14

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