sin happens. we all do it at some point.
and when it happens, if you’re a follower of Christ, you have to do something about it.
the catholics have confession.
many protestant churches have altars.
but for me, my preferred place was the Christian bookstore.
it’s where i did penance for my sins.
it’s where i attempted to achieve balance for becoming too worldly.
if i bought a secular cd, i would go to the Christian bookstore and buy five christian ones.
yeah, i loved living in a rhythm nation, but if i stayed there too long, i needed to make sure i had some steven curtis chapman, 4Him or troccoli to bring me back home.
if i bought a secular book, i would go buy some Christian novels. peretti. oke. lewis. i had to make sure i “renewed my mind.”
if i bought ten t-shirts at the gap, i would need to buy at least one Christian tee.
after all, i couldn’t promote the gap more than Jesus—so i had to make sure there was at least one shirt in my closet that would “preach.”
it was a delicate balance that i attempted to maintain.
an unspoken ratio.
after praying for forgiveness, i would drive to the bookstore and wander the book aisles ‘til i found something to get me back on track.
sexual temptation? there’s a book for that.
profanity? lying? wear a t-shirt and everyone will hold me accountable.
feeling distant from God? go buy a devotional.
maybe that plaque with the inspirational verse will keep me focused.
or the pen with a cross.
but after a while, the devotional would be in a stack of books on my nightstand or tucked away with the other devotionals on the bookshelf.
the t-shirt would be shoved aside for a more fashionable option.
the cds? they would diminish down to a handful of favorites.
the plaque would never make it to the wall.
the pen, well, would be wherever pens go.
all the stuff was a sacrifice, an atonement, for something that had already been paid.
it was an attempt to correct my missteps and in the process, get my frequent shopper card punched.
the piles of cds, books and tees only kept sin at bay for so long.
until eventually i came to realize it wasn’t so much about the stuff.
it was more about the relationship with Jesus.
even if i was a part of the rhythm nation.
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