I have been blessed in the last few months to be able to begin many of my sentences with the phrase, “Ich bin überzeugt, dass…” (I’m convinced that…). It may not be totally clear why this is so exciting, so let me explain a little further. Most of what followed that phrase was something that I had learned and “known” about our faith, but didn’t necessarily know-know. You know? I knew with my head but not my heart, and I didn’t always believe what I “knew.”
For example: sin binds us in chains and leads to death. I learned this, but I have to be honest and tell you that I was not convinced of it. Early in college, for example, when I looked at all the people who were partying, drinking in excess, and being promiscuous, they seemed so free and able to do whatever they wanted. Although, I certainly don’t have a perfect record, I had too strong of a conscious to dive completely into all of that. But, I wanted to; I floated along the surface because I was ensnared by the allure of sin. That lifestyle seemed exciting and freeing and, yet, I felt trapped by the voice inside of me that kept discouraging me from continuing on in that way.
What I learned over time, though, was that it’s a big lie. That lifestyle, which is so heavily promoted by the media and our culture as “normal” and “freeing,” is a one-way ticket to emptiness, regret, and loneliness, most certainly ending in death.
The Lord gave me a really cool image to drive this idea home a few months ago. Imagine that you’re jumping off of a sky scraper. As the wind breezes across your face and you soar through the air, the feeling of freedom is undeniable. You could not feel freer. The only trouble is, after a few seconds, you look down and see the ground rapidly rushing towards you. You can’t stop it and you realize, all too late, that your “freedom” will end in death. It is the same with sin. The allure of the freedom is undeniable, but once you’ve jumped, the inevitable end becomes all too clear.
Continuing the analogy, Jesus is kind of like superman, who always seems to be there just in time as we call for help. He’ll never fail to rescue someone who calls upon His name and it’s never too late. God is outside of time! Isn’t that amazing? I am convinced that sin is indeed the path to death, but that following Jesus’ commandments—all of them, in their fullness—is the path to life. Ich bin davon überzeugt and now I am able to live in true freedom! Dank sei Gott!