Identifying the little touches of sin that we all may be guilty of.
To begin with the knowledge that each one has been touched by sin is not a misnomer regarding our weaknesses. We need to go back in human history and reflect on the many circumstances that found our forefathers in trouble with sin.
Some of the noblest figures in the bible had to live out their days, forgiven, but with a curse attached to the very families they reared. David, for one, was chosen by God, through Samuel the prophet and anointed with oil making him the king. ( 1 Sm 16: 13).
But, as the years went by David was on the roof of the palace and noticed a woman bathing. He asked who she was and they informed him she was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, a commander of the army. His desire for her was strong and he ended up in an adulterous affair. When she confessed to David she was pregnant, David tried to cover his sin by tricking Uriah to sleep with his wife. It didn’t work so David had Uriah sent to the battle and on the front line where his death was assured. Now, David, the chosen leader to be the forerunner of the genealogical line from which Jesus would be born, and from the lips of God His line would be forever blessed. The chosen king and the father of many generations leading up to Jesus, the Massiah, guilty of adultery, and murder to cover his sin. (2 Sm 11: 1 ff).
There were punishments that found their way to his descendants for what he did. But, God did not reject him. He took the punishment out on his descendants.(2 Sm 12: 7 ff).
It would be unusual for most of us who are God’s chosen as evangelists, prophets, and promoters of Christ’s teaching to go the way of David. However, any of us is capable of slipping and from time to time finding ourselves in a position of some sinful act that we may regret and often say to ourselves; I thought I was doing fine and getting beyond that incident, again Do we often wonder that pondering on the success of avoiding these small difficulties make us a little proud of our efforts which in time finds pride surging in our minds?
“Although if I should wish to boast, I would not be foolish, for I would be telling the truth. But I refrain, so that no one may think more of me than what he sees in me or hears from me because of the abundance of revelations. Therefore, that I may not become too elated, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, an angel of Satan, to beat me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12: 6 - 9).
There have been some opinions as to what these thorns were. I have heard maybe it was a small pain or human disruption to biological activities. But, when each of us finds a reaccurring sin that prevents us from becoming too elated regarding our perfection there must be a way for the pride to get hold of our senses and these small slips are the manner God will allow to bring our attention back to humility.
I am certain this is what St. Paul experienced, something that was a small falling away from God and just enough to keep him from becoming too elated and finding humility as well. We should not worry when we slip or fall. God will not condemn us and accept our humility, dispelling the pride which can be worse that small slips of sin.
Ralph B. Hathaway