This academic resource is for anyone who has a sincere desire to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself (Luke 10:27).” It is for those who are interested in the Lord’s requirement “to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).”
I begin this post with a CONFESSION to American Indians. I confess not because I have directly sinned against them by taking their land, breaking lawful governmental treaties, imposing sickness and diseases, ravishing their women, robbing their men of their manhood and purposeful work, erasing their cultural heritage and languages, or by destroying the hope and generational inheritance of so many of their children.
I confess because I understand the implications that individual sin has on a corporate body and community of people. Sin has negative consequences on the sinners and those they sin against. I confess because I am a beneficiary of all those sins, and I am therefore guilty in the corporate sense.
As I typed the response for yesterday’s post and reread our exchange, I found myself wrestling with some hard questions. My response called for confession, while Trillia’s response called for us to love our neighbors. I stopped for a minute and asked myself, “We do know that already, don’t we?” Most Christians I know understand God’s desire for us to confess (admit) and then repent (turn away from our sin). Most Christians I know understand that God wants us to love our neighbors. The sin problem is not so much with our theology (the word, what we know and believe about God) as it is in our practice. In spite of what we claim to know, we still continue to sin either by commission (the sin we purposely and knowingly practice) or omission (when we fail to respond in obedience to God’s command). The problem is that our hearts desires often do not align with the desires of God. God can certainly change our hearts through the power of the Holy Spirit. Receiving this transformation requires that we look in the mirror and ask, “Do I really want to be changed?”