I don’t often think of sin as not doing something. It’s easier to think of it sin as something that I do, and therefore to choose to not do something is to choose not to sin. Keeting turns this understanding on its’ head with this statement: “The great sin of the New Testament is to refuse to grow and to choose to stay as we are. (We can’t do this!) The spiritual life is dynamic. The Spirit keeps inviting us to new levels of surrender, faith, and love.”
What a great picture of walking with Jesus, an invitation to new levels of surrender, faith and love. It is hard work to keep consciously entering these new places with Jesus. It is much easier to celebrate how far the Lord has brought me and get comfortable with whatever level of intimacy He has invited me to. It is sobering to think that sin could include my complacency with my walk with Christ. I have been in a weekly group with some other guys for the past 7 years, and it would be easy for us to work on “sin management”, making sure that each of us avoids the land mines of life. Our most fruitful seasons of walking through life together are when we challenge one another to go to a deeper place with Jesus. It requires vulnerability and surrender, but the fruit of accepting the challenge is a more authentic walk with Jesus and one another.
I am definitely challenged by Keetings’ presentation of sin as a refusal to grow. As I think about my day/my week I am doing my best to be open to what areas of life the Lord wants to address. This takes me beyond simply saying no to temptation, and seems to be the path to deeper intimacy with Jesus.