We are at war with ourselves.
Oh, you think you understand, do you? That you’re at war with your very nature, right? Is that what you think?
Don’t misunderstand, that’s not untrue, just inadequate an explanation. Your situation is indeed as schizophrenic as you imagine. You are two minds, two natures. But it’s less Jekyll and Hyde than you would hope. It’s not that you are at war with another mind within you but the same mind. I’m splitting hairs, but I trust you’ll understand why in a moment.
You see it as a civil war of the soul. One side the good, that wants good, that knows good. The other evil, that wars and works against the good. A surprisingly eastern philosophy for a protestant. But it’s not that. There aren’t two, just the one. The traitor is yourself. You, being good, fight and strive for that good. Then you, being bad, tear down and mock the good that you build. You erect battlements and walls to keep temptations, to keep me, out, and then you wonder why they constantly fail and seem to crumble and dismantle themselves. When, of course, you are the one dismantling them. The conspirator, the man within your ranks collaborating with the enemy, is you. You think I’m lying.
We are not our sin.
But are you not a sinner?
Doesn’t your sin matter, then? Doesn’t it carry some weight? If not, then what would redemption mean? Would it be necessary?
But we are forgiven. We don’t have to carry that burden anymore.
But you continue to sin, do you not? What of that?
Didn’t one of your greatest say that he had the desire to do good but could not carry it out? “But what I hate, that I do.”
He also said that it was no longer him but the sin living in him.
True. But that means sin lives within you. You want to divorce yourselves from it, so it doesn’t touch you. But it’s there and it means something. Where did you get this idea that you were two different people: the one good, the other bad? Are you not one person? Without excuse? You see, when you believe that you are two, it makes it so easy to not feel guilty for the things you do, because it isn’t you. But it is. A part, a piece, whatever euphemism you use to try and make it seem like it’s not so much you as something or someone else. But you’re wrong. Every sin is a willful act, an act of you. It must be or salvation itself is meaningless.
And who do you suppose would benefit most from that conclusion?