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(Watch) What sin takes care of all on its own

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IMBeggar - published on 06/16/23

A line I ad-libbed for this video ended up causing the most reaction. But it makes sense. Sin IS its own punishment. My friend's story shows it well.

Surprisingly to me, because it was totally ad-libbed, the line in this video that got the most reaction was, “Sin is its own punishment.”

I got a voicemail from an old friend after posting this video (below). After some small talk, his tone changed. He said, “Sin is its own punishment … ain’t that the truth.” 

He wasn’t trying to be clever or funny and I could sense a hint of regret or remorse in his words.

He was dealt a rough hand from the very beginning. He was an only child, unspeakably abused by his mother; his father, weak, chose a bottle instead; so he ran, and a life of anger and pain was born. It’s no surprise that what followed was a tangled mess of bad choices, bad relationships, and destructive behavior — that brought suffering to himself, and many others who happened to be in his path.  

I’ll never forget what he told me one day, over some subpar Mexican food on one of those wobbly tables, about a woman he once met. “I think it was the first time I ever met love in my life,” he said, his eyes glossing over. He was 26 at the time. “It’s like she had this X-ray vision.” His eyes now big: “I could feel her looking right through me, and it’s like I couldn’t hide from it.” 

She was probably the first to ever see him, a scared little kid all alone in the dark, and it was probably the first time he ever felt seen.  

Today, he is one of the greatest success stories I know, and a dear friend. But what I admire about him most is his deep insight on things, coming as if from one who has seen hell, and lived to tell about it.  

I know what he meant when he left me that message, scanning over his life, and the tremendous pain he received, the pain he returned, and the pain he suffered: “Sin is its own punishment,” whether it’s our own or somebody else’s, and we have to live with the consequences.  

And God, contrary to popular opinion, is not some punitive God glaring down in disappointment waiting to mete out punishment. No, sin takes care of that on its own. God is more like that woman (times a million): Love breaking through, trying to protect us from those consequences.  


This is part of the series called “The Human Being Fully Alive” found here.

The Human Being Fully Alive
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