This week one of the Sisters - Julie to be exact - posted a very clear explanation of Sin and FASD. She nailed this tough topic and in doing so opened the door to the real challenge confronting our families and the larger world.
In her words: He (her son with FAS) is a sinner. I am a sinner. But, there is one thing I want to make clear. Sin
is sin regardless of the sinner. In a world of relativism..where each person
decides for themselves what is right and what is wrong...the concept of absolute
truth has often been lost. Stealing is sin. Lying is sin...regardless of the
sinner. What I wrestle with is not what is sin and what is not..but what I
wrestle with is the element of accountability regarding the sinner..........read the rest here.
I am with her in the struggle. I agree 100% that sin is sin regardless of the individual in question.
It's that sticky next part that ties us up - that place where we as humans need to determine what level of accountability to hold a person to who has physical, emotional, developmental, behavioral, situational and/or mental health challenges which makes it an overwhelming task.
Ha! you say? It's not our job to judge? Well, unless you live alone on an island you must because these decisions are everywhere..... we face them in the court system, at our workplace and across our dining room tables. As adults we have to decide what the correct discipline or punishment is for every situation we are in authority over and we have to have some sort of a basis for making it.
Honestly, parenting was so much simpler when I could look at a negative behavior and use the basic 'is it willful sinful behavior or just childishness" theory for making decisions. Of course it wasn't a good scale for making parenting choices.....but it made sense to me until my kids behaviors stopped fitting into either category and I realized that this (the accountability piece of my job) might be more than simply black and white. A thought which smacked me up side the head with the truth that I was very legalistic in my thinking as well as in my parenting. Not a good thing - but a good thing to know about myself and something to honestly start dealing with.
Which is what I am learning now.
How to identify the sin for what it is and then to turn and honestly look at the individual to see where they are at vs where I think they should be. Which helps me in every avenue of life.
Please hear that I don't have all the answers to the question of sin, accountability and FASD - but like Julie, Barb and all the rest of our crazy friends we are struggling to make it one day at a time. Praying over our decisions and seeking grace as we muddle through the easy as well as the hard days.