They used to call it ‘creative accounting’. Losses were called ‘negative gains’ and liabilities were referred to as ‘non-producing assets’! Double speak is another name for it. The Global Financial Crisis (GFC) was in part caused by very ‘creative accounting’ of only a few people.
Of course calling a spade a spade especially when it comes to sin has not been the practice of many of us. Adultery is dubbed an affair; a lie has been downgraded to a fib and false witness is part of our practiced conversation.
How sad it is that we seem so keen to fudge the truth and once we have formed the habit it is so easy for the thin end of the wedge to affect all areas of our life. We do it so well that we soon forget what we have fudged and we begin to think it is the truth.
Sin is like that. Not only does “practice make permanent” it also makes us think that if we do it often enough or do it with others it is somehow OK. Of course nothing could be further than the truth.
For many, getting caught is the only sin that matters. But this is a folly, a fabrication and invention of the sinful mind to justify our wrongs. There is only one problem with this wishful thinking – it fails to grasp the reality of human guilt. Guilt plagues a person whether they are caught or not.
Sadly the tragic consequences of high level accounting fraud were seen in the GFC. The lack of trust in institutions, the down grade of respect for many honest stewards of corporate and public institutions together with the mistrust of careful and diligent auditors to name a few.
What we as a society must see is that when the seriousness of sin is watered down the impact on us all is also massive. When belief in God is privatised or is rejected as a figment of our imagination we should not be surprised that we have problems. Without an objective person standing above us we very quickly find ourselves seeking to stand above others and the laws so needful for our society to function.
The good news is that God is a gracious, loving God who desires that people come back to him. If we want to take sin seriously in our life we first of all need a genuine and humble submission to God Almighty, a desire to seek his forgiveness and a recognition that before Him we all must give account.
Thankfully, God can be known through His Son as the gracious Heavenly Father who freely offers forgiveness to those who turn back to him and also helps us to overcome the temptations that conspire to cause us to think that our actions might go unnoticed and unchecked.