Sin Is A Pass or Fail Test

Shortly after I get up in the morning, I put my coffee on to brew and then I measure my blood pressure. I thought about the test. At the doctor’s office, they hustle you back to the examination room, have you sit on the table, they may or may not tell you to put your feet flat on the little shelf, then they measure. One time. That reading is today’s reading. Pass or fail.

But in reality, your blood pressure will vary somewhat during the day. If they took a measure, waited a few minutes and repeated, the measurement would be different.

Once upon a time in my career, I was proficient in preparing products for testing by UL (Underwriter’s Laboratories) in order to meet a safety standard. I was even on the Industry Advisory Board for standard development for one standard.

The procedure goes like this:

  • make an appointment
  • send product and any required accessories
  • UL engineers and technicians run the test
  • UL engineer informs you–pass or fail

The test engineer for my standard told me once that companies from one geographic region always asked about going 2 out of 3 if the first test failed. Companies from another region would want to negotiate.

This made me think of some discussions Jesus had with his religious opponents–the Pharisees. To Jesus, an act (physical or in your head) was either a sin or not. Pass or fail. He accused the Pharisees of negotiating. If a law of Moses was inconvenient to their way of life, they made up a rule to circumvent it. Remember the discussion about the law about supporting one’s parents but how the Pharisees had a rule that was like a loophole out of the sin of not doing that?

How about us? Do we negotiate with God? Do we ask to go 2 out of 3?

A sin is a sin. We all do several every day. I know people who sort out certain groups or types of people and won’t let them participate in church because they are sinners. Well, we are all sinners. Why bother pointing our finger at some certain group?

That is why God invented repentance and grace. We have the ability to become aware of our sin, talk with God about turning our ways into a different direction, and then accepting God’s grace that we are still loved and accepted.

That was the Good New Jesus brought. That offering still exists. And will exist.

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