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Sin and Grace, the Thief and the Gift

Sin is the thief that keeps on taking.

I thought I knew the destruction and harm of sexual sin, until I didn’t. I didn’t just make poor choices at the end of high school and early in college, I had fundamentally oriented myself in a destructive path. It messed me up for a while, and I was so close to taking a giant step even further down the rabbit hole of blatantly disregarding the dignity of the human person.

Grace is the gift that keeps on giving.

During my sophomore year of college, I began to open up my Bible on a daily basis. Then I started going back to church every Sunday, and I eventually worked up enough courage to make a tragically overdue confession. I later discovered the incredible God-designed beauty of sex and marriage, and was led to discern and follow God’s call to enter the seminary after college. After wrestling with taking the next step in my vocation, I left seminary after four years with so much gratitude for God’s providential guidance in my life.

Now, I am married to my best friend and God has blessed us with bringing into this world the most breathtaking human being that I have ever encountered. God’s grace has continued to multiply over the years, often in spite of my indifference, my laziness, and my brokenness.

Sin is the thief that keeps on taking.

The complexity of sin and grace is a theological mystery that I will not begin to unpack. Our God is all-powerful. As we can all attest, however, grace rarely blots out all of the effects that sin has had on our lives (on this side of heaven, of course). Sin’s damage continues to linger in our minds, in our relationships, and with the other people that have experienced a “ripple effect” of those sins.

The sexual sins that I committed in my younger years still rear their ugly head from time to time. Those choices forged my character and psychology. As powerful as God’s grace has been, the untwisting and reorienting of my mind, my desires, my character is still a work of grace in progress. Those sins ordered me more and more toward “lust” and desensitized my ability to authentically, selflessly love. Celia has to deal not only with the lingering effect of my sins, but she also has to continue to cope and grow through the wounds that linger from her own past. The sins of our past, committed by us or against us, keep taking from us.

Grace is the gift that keeps on giving.

As we continue to grow in virtue and reshape our wounded minds, as we continue to receive God’s grace to steadily untie the knots and heal our wounds, as Celia and I continue to give help and support to each other as we come to know each other more intimately, God continues to gift us with His grace through the compassion and mercy that Celia and I offer to each other’s brokenness.  

Christ calls us to a faith working through love, that we would be members of his body and, through Jesus, be conduits of his grace to others. God’s grace keeps on giving to our family as we continue to seek God through prayer, scripture, sacraments, and by being instruments of God’s grace to one another, especially as we encounter the wounds of sin.

Sin is the thief that keeps on taking.

But Grace is the gift that keeps on giving...keeps on healing...keeps on perfecting.

And God’s grace has the final say.