Sin as a Pearl

There are many views of sin in the world, and many metaphors for what it is like in the Bible. Jesus likens sin to a lion, prowling around and seeking to devour, as something crouching at the door, as a thief in the night, and as leaven that levels a whole lump of bread. I wonder though, if in Christ, when we are saved, if sin becomes something else.

The Christians speaks often  of being “saved”, that is, Christ took the penalty of our sin away when he died in our place. This allows us to be with God when we die, yet it does not remove our desire for sin, nor our proclivity to sin. We still lust, we still get angry, we still feel self-righteous and judgmental just like every other human. For this we are meant to repent. Lately in my life I’ve wondered if I’m really a Christian because I’ve reflected on one sin in particular that I can’t seem to shake off. It is what St. Augustine would call a “besetting” sin, or something that we acknowledge as sin but keep doing, for one reason or another. For some people it’s drugs, for others its anger. The thing about sin is it’s not a mistake. It’s something you deliberately do. So if we keep choosing to do it, can we really say we believe and accept Christ? I have felt hopeless so much because of the shame of being tempted by this sin, that I often just give into it. And yet, I wonder if Sin takes on a different form once saved. Rather than a little leaven, infecting the whole person, perhaps sin becomes a grain of sand, irritating us, but turning us continually to Christ, until eventually it forms a pearl of wisdom and humility in us.

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