Did You Miss This Sin?

Listen to Paul and be blessed.

You so transgress with your eyes open, though you see as far as the sky, you do not see beyond; beneath the sky you have some intelligence, beyond it, you have none.

  - Columbanus, Sermon III (Irish, 7th century)

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on things that are on earth.

  - Colossians 3.1, 2

The effects of unconfessed sin are known: Our prayers lack reality and power (Ps. 66.18). Prayer doesn't seem like a real spiritual engagement with God, and we don't see much in the way of results from prayer anyway. Consequently, our prayer lives are pretty shabby.

Unconfessed sin also leads to compromise with other sins - an easy attitude toward "little sins" that considers them no big deal, so that we don't even bother to confess them (Ps. 73.18). One thing leads to another and, before you know it, we're arranging for the murder of Uriah (2 Sam. 11).

When we fail to confess our sin we also diminish the Scriptures. By harboring sin in our lives we cut ourselves off from the presence of God (Is. 59.1, 2), and, since God is manifestly present in His Word, it can be difficult for us to "get" anything out of our time reading and studying the Scriptures. So we let that slide as well.

Having unconfessed sin in our lives is not a good thing. No sir. So try to make a point to confess all known sin, because your whole spiritual life can suffer when you fail to do so.

And in case you missed this sin, I just need to mention it: If you are not setting your mind on the things that are above, where Christ is seated in heavenly places, you are, as Columbanus indicates, transgressing.

The Apostle commands you to "seek" this unseen landscape and to "set your mind" there. If you're not doing that, you're disobeying the commandment of God, and to do so is sin - which, if left unconfessed, can be the source of lots of other problems.

The Scriptures offer many glimpses into the unseen realm where Christ rules at the Father's right hand. By meditating on these individually and together, we can come to a clear picture of what's going on "beyond the sky", so to speak. We can begin to orient our lives "under the heavens" rather than merely "under the sun," which Solomon indicated is the way to lasting wisdom.

What does it mean for you to "set your mind" on Christ exalted in glory? Don't just shrug and say such contemplations are not for you. You are commanded to do so. It will do you good.

And failing to do so is sin.

Don't sin, brethren; listen to Paul and be blessed.

T. M. Moore, Principal

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T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT. 

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