A close friend of mine is a missionary in a small country near the country of Iraq. Every month he likes to write a newsletter to his friends and to the churches that support him and his family. Proudly I can say I am a member of both groups for not only is he my friend but he is also one of the missionaries that our church supports
Most usually he writes about something that is new to me but this past month he wrote about something simple, and that is mud. He mentioned that there is no water treatment plant anywhere near his area, and so at this time of the year when the snow melts on the mountain tops and goes down into the valleys it brings not only water but mud, and lots of it!
Now, mud is all well and good if you are in a motocross race, or if you want to play football or soccer or make mud pies. But when they are bathing, washing their clothes, or washing the dishes, one look at the coffee-colored water would make anyone ask themselves, “Why bother?”
At least, it used to. Since this is their second Spring, they noticed that they ask themselves that question less and less. Being missionaries they have had to get more or less used to washing their dishes in muddy water! But every once in a while, as happened one day while my friend was washing dishes (Yes, he does help his wife wash the dishes!), he said he looked into the sink full of dirty water which had just come out of the tap and thought, “If I was anyplace else in the world, this would be unacceptable to wash the dishes in. I would empty the sink out and call a plumber, or my landlord, or my councilman or congressman.” But in Dushanbe, it is something you just get used to. And pretty soon, although you know it is there, you almost don’t see it.
If we allow sin in our lives and are not quick to clean it out, after a time, we get used to it and, although we may know it is there, we don’t really recognize it for what it is.
Much sin that we run into may also be cultural. To some it is acceptable to allow your children to watch movies and television shows that no one should be watching, or to lie in order to get ahead. To others it is okay to cheat on your taxes because they are inherently unfair or exhorbitant, or to ask for a bribe to do the job that you are paid to do, or to beat your wife or children or commit adultery.
No matter what it is, some sins are so heavily engrained in a society that they are often hard to recognize as sin. You may feel that there is something not quite right, but is it really sin? I mean, after all, “Everybody does it right?”
Many times, this is what we run into here. Even those who are of like mind sometimes refuse to recognize that what they are doing is both wrong and harmful to themselves and to the Body. But then, don’t we do the same thing?