Writer Hope Bonarcher was no stranger to sin. She gave her life to Christ and turned things around, but is her life more boring now?
As a part time actress I love meeting new people, discovering new places and making good money for an easy day. Recently, I had the pleasure of working with a friendly gentleman, let’s call him Monty, after his favorite film. Monty was a ladies man of over 60 years old. He asked if I had eligible friends, and stipulated they’d have to be closer to 30, but as a retired teacher surviving on his pension and work as a background actor, he was affable and easy to talk to.
It was a 12-hour day on locations around Glasgow, but it was anything but boring. Each sharing a fondness for debate, Monty and I ended up on opposing sides of nearly every topic. The space in the waiting area grew wider around us as other actors overheard buzzwords like Jewish, racist, and Trump and ran desperately seeking cover. By the time the topic of sin came about it was just Monty and me.
I, a respectfully well dressed wife and mother, sat opposite him as he gaped at me incredulous, that I could consider myself a sinner. Yet, he didn’t know what he didn’t know about me; about my life decades before as the stereotypical suburban, teenage, American idiot. Premarital sex, recreational drugs, underage drinking, smoking cigarettes, starvation to waif status, suicide attempts, and the list goes on. When it came to sin, I was the poster child.
When it came to sin, I was the poster child.
Monty was even more surprised to learn what the Bible says about sin; that our righteousness is like filthy rags to God, all have sinned and fallen short of his glory, and its wage is death. According to Jesus, thinking a hateful thought against my fellow human was enough to be counted as a murderer in our holy God’s sight. The 2022-me, the 1997-me, and Monty for that matter, needed redemption and salvation all the same.
“Yeah,” soothed the silver haired devil across my shoulder, “but when you look back on it all, don’t you kind of miss it? … I mean, wasn’t sin more fun?” My mind didn’t race to overnights raving in the city, acid trips on my rooftop, or cocaine enhanced parties in the Hamptons.
Passages of the Bible like Psalm 73, tell how the wicked seem to prosper, but when I look back on my young life of debauchery what’s true for me is the cavernously deep, ceaselessly unsatisfied hole in my heart, coaxing me everywhere. This longing for unconditional wholeness, value and acceptance, lead me down dark and crooked paths I never should have traveled. It’s the brokenness that comes to mind, not the bandaids. When a Christian told me the Gospel, as the songs say, I ran out of that grave, no turning back.
The sun on my face, a beautiful walk through nature marveling in God’s creation… this is the fun that makes life truly beautiful, no strings attached.
Monty seemed less than thrilled with my answer. The world does a very good job of painting sin like the original picture of Dorian Gray. Even Christians fall under the spell of temptation, believing we are somehow missing out on the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. It’s the greatest lie ever told, beginning with that forbidden fruit in Eden.
The idea that sin is more fun is deception incarnate. Drunkenness leads to hangovers, casual sex leads to STDs and unwanted pregnancies, starvation leads to dire health complications. While worshipping joyfully with the congregation at church, uncontrollable laughter among friends, the wind in my hair, the sun on my face, a beautiful walk through nature marveling in God’s creation… this is the fun that makes life truly beautiful, no strings attached. How do you like THEM apples, Monty?