A Rose by Any other Name

This could make me very unpopular. Sin is sin no matter what you call it. Sin is not

  • a lifestyle choice.
  • a phase or stage of life.
  • an accident.

My sins are no greater than yours and they are certainly not any less. While we have the freedom to choose, we are not free from the consequences of those choices. Some sins have bigger, more lasting consequences than others. All sin separates us from God unless we repent and strive to walk without sin. Our world has polluted Truth. Society has become accepting of all sorts of sins. The entertainment industry and social media outlets spread lies. This “post-modern” world sees no absolute Truth and even encourages sinful behavior.

Truth is still truth, no matter how many people doubt it. I may deny the law of gravity, but that does not change gravity. And just because we breakGod’s laws, that does not invalidate them. A lie doesn’t become a truth and wrong doesn’t become right and evil doesn’t become good just because it’s popular.

Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Life

Did you ever play “telephone” or “gossip”? Then you know how quickly a simple word or phrase changes with repetition. Every person in the chain hears differently and has different experiences. Those things impact our understanding. Being careful not to repeat misinformation is critical in maintaining positive relationships. 

Though our sins keep us separated from God, He always provides a way home. He longs for all of us to turn from the harsh lies of the world and back into His arms, into the Light of Truth. Falling for a lie is a painful way to live – maybe not right away, but everything we choose has consequences, both immediate and eternal. This story brings a more modern take to the Prodigal Son. God will never leave us. He longs for us to return to Him.

Just before the final chorus featured in this snippet, the bridge of the song says, “Wherever you’ve been, whatever you’ve done, come as you are, come into His open arms.”
God rescues us, cleans us, and helps us bloom where He wants us to grow – WHEN we choose to follow His way!

The title comes from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, so would Romeo if he were not Romeo called.” We can change the name of something, but that doesn’t change the thing. I could call broccoli chocolate, but my family still wouldn’t eat it. We can call sin a “lifestyle choice” but that does not make it unsinful.

God clearly lays out what He expects of us. He gives us the choice between following His way or choosing our own. His gift of salvation is free and He desires for all people to experience that gift. His instructions are clear – He even gives us many examples in the early church. Each conversion in Acts begins with believing in the message heard, confessing and repenting of sin, and being immersed. Not all choose to follow God, or they choose bits and pieces and ignore the rest. When we choose our own path, He allows us to face the consequences – both immediate and eternal. Which path will you choose?

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