As I was reading through Brennan Manning’s book, "The Wisdom of Tenderness" this morning, one passage in the book really caused me to stop, ponder, reflect and pray. Brennan had been writing on how when we experience freedom we begin to have an appreciation for the captivity we have been in, or to put it another way, repentance finds its pinnacle when we’re brought to gratitude for our sins…because the awareness of them, and dealing with them serve to draw us closer to God.
Then he wrote on the damaging effects of sin in our lives as they affect us relationally. So read what Brennan wrote and chime in on your thoughts…
"Sin is the starting point of all social estrangement. Every sin, even every sin of thought, leaves its mark on the psychic structure of the human soul. Every unrepented sin has a sinisterly obscuring effect on true openness.
"No man is an island." We need others, every one of us. Human existence is relative; it’s what philosopher Martin Heidegger called a "mit-sein," a being with. We’re social beings by nature. But sin is antisocial; it locks us up in the prison of our own egoism. And that imprisonment bears grave consequences: insofar as we’re closed and in-communicative with others, our own personality is impoverished; when we can’t reach out to others in a meaningful gesture of love, our own humanness is diminished. Callousness seduces tenderness, and insensitivity becomes a lifestyle.
After every grave sin, something of the power for good is diminished in us. With every subsequent evil act, a measure of our own true liberty is destroyed. The freedom to give ourselves to others generously and gently and the readiness to receive are diminished. The daily turning in on self paralyzes our interpersonal exchanges and constitutes a kind rupture in the evolution of authentic personality. Sin is a closed circuit. Regardless of species, every sin resembles (at least in character) the primal sin of Adam and Eve, which was a closing off from God and one another."
how does that hit you?