Sin is Inconsistency

For both believers and non-believers, though in different ways toward each group, sin is a kind of inconsistency.

The believer claims to love Jesus Christ, yet at the moment of sin, his heart is set in opposition to Christ. If I were asked at the moment I yield to temptation whether or not I loved Jesus, I would invariably answer that I do. How can I have two master affections both living and breathing in the same heart? I’m just being inconsistent with my deepest commitments.

And aren’t we all like that? I love my spouse, but there have been times when I contradicted myself (and my t-shirt) by acting rudely toward her. The same is true when a generally “good” kid disobeys his father. In each instance, one appropriate way to describe what has happened is to call it inconsistency between the most basic principles in the heart.

Ultimately, all sins could be traced backward to a kind of illogical, self-contradicting confusion. Maybe that is part of the meaning of Malachi 3:6, “I am the Lord, I change not.” He has thoughts which he does not change and which never internally meet any opposition.

But I sometimes say to myself, “I hate laziness,” while I am also saying, “It is not the case that I presently hate laziness.” If I could only be mastered by a never-failing imitation of God’s immutability, I would have ceased from all sin. And here theology’s practical side really begins to shine. Bad logic is thinking two thoughts that contradict, and bad living is acting in life according to two opposing heart commitments. Which is another way to say, inconsistency.

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