“We slept together. Lots. Before we were married. And you know what? My husband isn’t a Christian, either.”

She didn’t mince words, but did not make eye contact with me while blurting out this confession. I couldn’t tell if the woman was ashamed, knowing that she’d willingly stepped outside of God’s perfect will for her life, or if she understood the mercy that covered every moment of it.

“I knew we were living in sin, but I loved him. I still do. He liked it, so I let him put a ring on it, too. There isn’t much else to say, except that I’d love it if he’d meet Jesus before he dies.”

I stopped at living in sin.

Young people couldn’t keep their clothes on. That’s a new one, right? I can’t justify the actions of a person who knew better but to say they were living in sin was interesting to me. Don’t we all do that? Who is so pious, so holy that they no longer have an inkling of iniquity in their life?

I’ve seen old people who don’t seem to have morality issues any longer. I believe this is in part, due to a failing libido. But I’m too young to make that assessment-anyone over sixty care to offer another explanation? But that only covers sexual sin. What about covetousness, hatred and unforgiveness? I’m sure plenty of geriatrics out there have issues with these fun little character flaws.

And who said that any old person is less immoral than a youngster? Madonna is old, she’s still scandalous. Hugh Hefner isn’t exactly the paradigm of purity, either. Is he the spokesman for Viagra? Because he probably should be. Enough of that- let’s talk about clergy. The Catholic church has a ton of bad examples, but it isn’t as if we protestants are doing much better. We have leadership who launder money, sleep with men (when they happen to be one), swear, lie and do God knows what else.

We live. In sin.

I for one don’t desire this, but I’ll never for a minute try to put on a mask of piety. I’m a sinner- in spite of my best intentions. I don’t want to present myself as much more, because the minute a man or woman removes this classification from their own description, they’re opening the door to pride, which happens to be sinful and totally invites some sort of unwelcome drama into their lives. In my experience, nothing terrorizes like religious pride.

Romans 6:2 tells us that we have died to sin. We no longer live in it. The translation of this verse that I’ve adopted indicates that we can’t immediately abandon iniquity upon our initial confession of faith, but rather, when we screw up, we move past it. Sort of like passing away, this is transitory. It’s similar to driving through a small town on the way to another destination. Tiny places along the highway have little or nothing to do with where I want to be, but somehow, they’re part of the experience. I can choose to make them into something more (If I’m hungry or have to pee) but typically, I’d rather get on with the drive, because I freaking hate road trips.

Sin becomes an issue when we revisit or worse, stay- we can’t always speed past it, human intentions and bodies just aren’t that strong. Perhaps choosing to stay, not repent, avoid changing and maturing,  we end up living in sin, like living at a point on the way to the place where God wants us to be.

We can’t reduce the effect of sin, nor should we exaggerate its power. Have you ever encountered someone who does either  of these?