How much does aging affect your day-to-day life? During a recent exhibit at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey, volunteers got the opportunity to find out. They could wear an augmented “aging suit” that used a combination of weighted attachments, a virtual reality headset, and audio equipment to simulate the effects of various age-related conditions, everything from a hip replacement to macular degeneration and hearing loss. The experience had a great impact on the younger volunteers. Things as simple as walking up a flight of stairs, reading a book, or listening to a conversation became an enormous task that left them exhausted both physically and mentally.
When I heard this, I couldn’t help but think of how sin has the same effect on our spiritual lives: it makes everything exponentially more difficult. Have you ever noticed the snowball effect it can have? One sin opens the door to another, and then another. So what may have begun as a momentary lapse in patience during your morning commute can later build to a big argument with your spouse in the evening, or to your giving in to some temptation you normally wouldn’t give a second thought to. You find yourself wondering, “How on earth did I get here?”
But that’s how sin works. It hold us back from the spiritual life we were created to live, one of complete freedom and grace in Jesus Christ. Think about the moments where you’ve felt the power of Christ’s love most intensely: you felt pretty free, didn’t you?
That’s exactly how grace should feel! The weight of shame, guilt, judgment, and pain that comes from sin is gone. In its place, we experience the incredible spiritual ‘lightness’ of the freedom Christ offers. As Christians who trust in him, we are already justified through him, and offered a life that is free from the bonds of sin. As Romans says: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe… and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22, 24 NIV).
Being right with our triune God allows us to then do right for and with him, as we live the life of grace and freedom that he intended for us. Without the weight of sin holding us back, it’s a life that feels spiritually young!
I’m Joseph Tkach, speaking of LIFE.