This is a bit of a continued thought from my previous post. I noted previously that sin quenches our passion and zeal for God and hinders our pursuit of holiness. Another thing I've been pondering is if we are saved, loved, rescued, purchased, valued people why don't we wear our gratitude and joy daily on our faces, in our actions. I think one reason is because we have short memories. We forget our wretchedness apart from Jesus.
I know a man that I want to be like. He has an amazing story and he shares it freely. He lives with gratitude and an open heart. He weeps openly over his sinfulness and God's grace, it's beautiful and disconcerting. This man was a drug addict and alcoholic. He was an enemy and scoffer of God. He hurt his family and left his wife. He came to the point of despair and suicide. In desperation he finally called out to Jesus and was changed. He and his wife have remarried and she testifies that he is a new man.
I've never even seen a drug, suicide never has really crossed my mind, never have been to jail. I became a Christian as a child. But I've sinned. Even as a believer I've justified my selfish behavior, which is even more despicable because I've tasted grace and should know better. God has had to set me free from sin, I've needed forgiveness. My sin is no less repulsive to God than the man I know. I should live with as much gratitude and joy.
I think the difference is my human tendency to justify and categorize. I forget that sin is sin, dead is dead. I don't live in the realization of my wretchedness and God's superior worth and glory. I forget that anything good that I am, any beauty I have is really Christ's. I imagine that is the reason for the warning in Ephesians to remember that it's by grace that we're saved and nothing to do with ourselves.
So, while I think sin is the number one culprit for joyless, fruitless, passionless living I believe that once sin is dealt with and forgiven we can't forget. We can't forget that we are capable of terrible sin. We can't forget that once we were God's enemies before we were his friend. We can't forget the wounds he healed, the chains loosed, the dirt removed. In remembering we become a grateful, worshipful people.