Sounds heretical doesn’t it? I mean, come on, don’t be afraid to sin, isn’t that the total opposite to promising never to sin again and doesn’t Christ himself tell us to go away and sin no more?
Yes of course I’d never encourage you to sin and I’m not asking you to go out and sin but to plunge into life and not be afraid to sin.
I’m thinking of the video I viewed recently where a heroic soldier in Mosul ran from the safety and cover of a tank to rescue a child caught in the firing line upon the middle of a dirt road. He ran out and although he got shot in the leg, he came back to safety with the girl in his arms alive and well which brings me to my next point.
The man in scriptures was afraid to lose the talent he had been given because he was so fearful of his master. Many of us miss opportunities to save others or to share our faith in the world and the talent (the Gospel) we’ve been given because we view God as someone who is a big judge that should we speak wrongly or act in a way so terrible he will judge us harshly.
We must battle in the world and to expect ourselves to walk through a thorny bush and come out clean on the other side is a little silly. God doesn’t look at our sins so much as our endurance.
Here is a story I learned from Elder and Saint Paisios.
He recalled how a young monk from Asia Minor came to the monastery in his youth. He was a serious alcoholic. How it happened was his parents worked in the fields all day and when he was a baby his mother, to keep him from crying would give him a very strong drink called Raka. Seriously strong stuff.
So he grew up an alcoholic. Elder Paisios tried to help this monk from his addiction by giving him a strict prayer rule. The monk drank 20 glasses of this stuff every day but after many many years through constant adherence to this prayer rule of Paisios, managed to reduce the number of glasses right down to just 4 a day but it would still make him drunk.
He was in charge of the gates at the monastery in Mount Athos. The pilgrims always complained about this drunk Monk as the stink of alcohol off him they thought it was an absolute scandal he should even be a monk at all.
The Monk never really eliminated his alcohol addiction. Well, one day the pilgrims arrived only to find the monk in charge of the gate, the one who always smelled of drink and fell all over the place as he fetched for the keys to open the gate was not there anymore.
They soon learned that the poor man had died. They went to St.Paisios with a sigh of relief and said to him ”Ah that man is dead now the one who was always drunk” hoping the elder would agree with them he lived a scandalous life.
Well, the elder just said to them ”Ah yes, I remember when it happened, the moment he died I saw the heavens open and thousands of Angels and all the Archangels surrounded him and took him to Heaven.
The people were indignant about what the elder had said and sharply continued that ”this was impossible he was such a sinner and drunkard and drunkards don’t go to heaven”.
The Elder told them the story of the monks life and then said ”You see, what you saw was nothing but a scandalous old sinner and drunkard. But what God saw was a true warrior who endured and battled with the demons until the very end.”
What I’m telling you is don’t get too caught up on your vices and sins. Don’t be afraid to do battle and receive some scars. Don’t avoid life and bury the talent but go out into the heavy thickness of the battlefield and leave all your worries about sin behind you and just do your best.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t battle sin and avoid sin, but not to be afraid of falling into it, because the Lord sees your effort and is always ready to forgive, always waiting for you to show your worth, ask forgiveness and get back into the thick of the battle.