So I have a confession…I am not good at math. In fact, I barely passed Elementary Algebra in college.
When the letters show up alongside a number, it throws my brain into tornadic activity, swirling around and destroying any hope of solving the problem. Pretty soon the Wicked Witch of the West, with her smug “I knew it look”, shows up riding her bicycle and laughing wickedly at my inability to process the letters with numbers. To top it off, she knows she is going to get Toto, because my brain won’t be able to hang on much longer.
There are, however, some math skills I do remember. Like “is” means “equal to.” And let me tell you, knowing that has come in handy when reading the Bible.
Did you know there are two “equal to” statements in 1 John?
- Sin=Lawlessness (3:4)
- God=Love (4:16)
Knowing these “equal to” statements has helped me through periods of “unequal to” circumstances, when I didn’t think life was fair and I didn’t have much hope it ever would be.
When I remember sin is lawlessness, I can put temptation behind me. As an Enneagram 1, I prefer to be “law abiding”. My sense of right and wrong doesn’t hover in the balance when I approach sin as lawlessness.
AND it prompts me to remember James 1:14-15 (NIV), “…but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full grown, gives birth to death.” Sounds frightening doesn’t it? And then to add some more to the equation, Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.” (NIV)
It doesn’t seem like there is a solution to this sin=lawlessness problem. If I am tempted and go my own way and continually give in to lawlessness, I just keep spinning around in the tornado of hopelessness.
Hallelujah! There is a solution! As I continue to work on the problem, I find that God=Love. He is the solution to my sin=lawlessness problem, and He solved it by sending His only Son to die in MY place for MY sin. (Talk about life not being fair!)
Because God is love and because He is perfect, I don’t have to be afraid. Perfect love drives out fear. (1John 4:18 NIV). He loves me perfectly and is the solution to every spiritual math equation (sin) I find hard to solve. He gives me hope in the midst of the E5 tornado spinning my life and losing grip on Toto.
When I find myself in the whirlwind of self-pity and life-isn’t-fair moments, I simply look the old wicked witch right in eye and tell her to take her smug little self and her bicycle and pedal her way back to the land of Algebra because God has solved my problem of letters with numbers.
So if you are like me and have an E5 tornado coming at you, be brave, follow the path God has set out for you in His Word. Look the wicked witch in the eye and tell her to pedal her way out of your life.
Remember God has the solution and He loves you perfectly!