We sin when we have our loves out of order. Think about this for a moment. This is the most powerful sentence I’ve heard in years and it rings all too true in today’s world.
We sin when our loves are out of order…
When most of us think of sin, we think of it as something awful, dark and depraved inside of us. We think of the darkness inside of us that is overpowering our light. And then we think of our unworthiness. It is a magical circle of thinking that is bound to depress even the most positive among us.
But an ancient theologian Augustine had a different explanation.
He said, ‘What is sin? In traditional morality, it’s the sense that we have something broken. And what’s broken is something inside of us — and not necessarily something dark or depraved.” Rather, in Augustine’s viewpoint, what’s broken actually relates to our loves.
In his wonderful interview with Oprah, David Brooks, the NY Times columnist, and the best selling author expands on this and says:
We all love a lot of things. We love family, we love money, we love a little affection, status, truth. And we all know that some loves are higher. We know that our love of family is higher than our love of money. However, when those ranks begin to shift, that’s when sin comes in. Our love of truth should be higher than our love of money. [But] if we’re lying to get money, we’re putting our loves out of order.
Powerful, right? And oh so true!
He goes on and offers a piece of advice that people could follow. He says we should all take time to examine our loves and literally rank them in the order of highs and lows. High love should be love towards your family (parents, siblings, spouses, children), love towards yourself, your friends, and so on until you come to the lowest of loves (something you love but is not on the first list of priorities).
Thinking about this will help you remain conscious of your ordered loves and, in theory, it can help prevent their disorder and subsequent sin.
Because at the end of our life, the work accolades, yachts, money, and fame won’t matter. How you journeyed through this life will.
What will mean more to you in 10, 15, 50, 70 years from now? A good resume or a good eulogy?
Listen to the full interview with Oprah here (it’s so worth it – but try to disregard the commercials or ff through them 😉 ):