I don’t like people. I’m antisocial, an introvert and I see nothing wrong with that. You won’t see me at the bar with a bunch of people. Any free time I do have away from work and parenting will be spent alone. I have never really been a “people person”. People always comment about how “quiet” I am. I’m even quiet around my family. It can come off as unloving or uninterested in other people’s lives and problems. That is not my intention, but it’s far easier to avoid people then to interact with them. Over the past few years as I have journeyed deeper into confessional Lutheranism, my reasons for wanting to be alone has changed. It changed from not liking the personalities of people to not liking the sin of people.
I think a lot of Christians receive what I like to call “Gospel Heavy” preaching. Meaning they hear a lot gospel and not enough law. I totally understand the desire for that. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the best thing EVER. I am blessed with a pastor who is quite capable of preaching the law and the gospel. Being shown your sin leads you to repentance. Realizing just how corrupt you are makes the gospel of Jesus Christ even more powerful. The Law is a very good thing, until my Old Adam comes along to turn it into something bad. The more the Law shows me of my sin, the more the Old Adam wants to see the sin of others. It isn’t long before I start judging them for their sin. Considering the sin that pours out of my sinful flesh, judging anyone else’s sin is ridiculous. Still, I want to flee from their sin, lock it away. I have my own sin to deal with. When I’m alone, I’m hidden away from my neighbor’s sin. I’m only thinking of myself, my own pathetic attempt at righteousness. The devil has me right where he wants me. All alone, judging my neighbor and certainly not loving them.
In this isolation, the devil has me looking at myself and not at the Word of God as the judge of sin. My Old Adam and the Devil are working hand and hand to corrupt the Word of God. The devil knows my flesh is weak. I struggle daily with his attacks. He knows my weaknesses better than my pastor, my wife, even better than I do. He wants me to avoid people, hide their sin like it’s not even there. If you don’t see as much sin then maybe people aren’t so bad. Everyone screws up from time to time but they are still good people. Besides Jesus took care of all their sin so the law really isn’t important. Most of all, the devil doesn’t want you to call sin what it is, sin. He certainly doesn’t want you to bring any scripture into the situation. You can’t hide your neighbor’s sin, just like you can’t hide your own sin. We must confess our sins and in love confront our neighbor’s sin in the light of God’s Word.
There is no doubt that we should turn from sinful circumstances. We are poor miserable sinners. We deserve hell. Acting like our neighbor’s sins are worse than our own doesn’t help us with controlling our sin. We can’t control our sin, it’s out of control. Only through Jesus Christ are our sins controlled and forgiven. Jesus Christ didn’t hide from our sin, they were nailed onto the cross with him. On that cross our sins were covered with his righteous blood. We were made righteous because of his righteousness and love for us. Through Jesus Christ we can look forward to the resurrection of our flesh and finally loving our neighbor.