I’m still thinking about sin-consciousness and forgiveness-consciousness. I’m thinking of a drama team we once developed in a Church. We were encouraged by some there to act out messages of guilt so that people might be shamed into some kind of a conviction. Yikes!
Several of us questioned this tactic as manipulative and wrong but couldn’t make much headway. It seems like sin-consciousness has been purported as the way to bring about holiness. I don’t agree. In 1 Peter 1:5-9 it talks about adding to your faith virtue, knowledge, self-control and the like but the conclusion in verse nine is interesting. It says, “For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” So could it be that what drives our desire for holiness isn’t the knowledge of our sins but the knowledge of our forgiveness?
From a parent’s perspective that makes total sense. Children thrive when, even in correction, you keep in mind who they are as individuals. Children know their flaws, what they need is a way out in spite of them. For instance, I have a son who can not learn sitting still. (that doesn’t mean he is ADD, it means he is a kinetic learner. He learns by doing not so much by looking or listening.) I used to try to teach him spelling the way I was taught (which didn’t work for me btw). My son is super smart but he could never get the spelling of words to stick. He was frustrated, I was frustrated… but telling him he was a lousy speller and that he needed to do better would not have helped. Instead we looked for new ways to understand spelling. I told him he was very smart (because he is) and there must be a way to get that stuff in there in a way where it would stick. In the process we learned he needed to pace or wiggle in order to learn.
My son didn’t need to be told he was inadequate. He was very clear that he missed the mark in spelling. He needed to be given a way out of his inadequacies. When given that way out, he flourished in spelling along with every aspect of learning.
Knowing that I am forgiven, gives me the courage to risk.