Rosaria Butterfield in Openness Unhindered says that sin never feels like sin. It feels like life. That so perfectly captures the struggle in my own life, I think. When I am in the grip of sin, it feels necessary to me. It feels like food and drink, like I’m going to die if I don’t have it. Or at least, that my life will be boring, pointless, insignificant, joyless if I don’t have it, which really is the same thing.
But of course when we repent, when we start to put sin away, we realize that our sin wasn’t life at all, but the opposite. It’s death. It’s toxic poison destroying us and those around us. But that is so hard to see in the moment.
That really helps me understand better then what it means to die to self, to take up the cross to follow Jesus. We have to renounce our life, as we see it and understand it in our natural state. That’s what it means to give up sin.
Accepting Christ feels like drowning, feels like giving up and accepting death, and then when you slip underwater you realize that you were already underwater and drowning, and now in fact you are emerging to life and light.