This post, I think, deals with an issue that might raise hairs on some humans’ heads. So just in case you don’t want to read this, I argue that some sins can be acceptable or at least justified in certain situations.
One of my best friends struggles with perfectionism issues. This person is actually one of the kindest, most thoughtful and sensitive people I know, but they (in favor of “he or she”) still try harder than probably anyone else in my life to be perfect. I really love this person, and I want them to be happy. And since starting counseling I have wondered if certain sins are sometimes okay, even in God’s eyes.
For example. A few weeks ago I called my counselor to check in and see what I could do to make my life easier. She said I needed to express my anger in a constructive way. It was weird because I didn’t feel angry; I felt hopeless and depressed and victimized by my own mental problems. How could I summon anger, let alone express it? She suggested I write about how angry I was and specifically mentioned that cuss words would be appropriate.
At first this floored me. Swear? Me? I know swear words but I choose not to use them because I’ve been taught that it drives away the Holy Ghost, and I find I like His companionship. Plus I personally think that using them too often as filler words is kind of a distasteful habit. But anyway! With my counselor’s permission to swear, I realized suddenly that I had a lot to say.
A few days before this phone call, Incresity had introduced me to Eminem, and really rapping in general. And while I feel like most of Eminem’s work is inappropriate for me to listen to, I think he’s an amazing writer. I was floored when I realized how many words went into his raps, mainly because of how fast he says them. (Being sometimes suicidal has made me more open to parts of the world that I wouldn’t have originally been interested in, like rapping, which turns out can be pretty cool.)
Anyway I wrote a rap, a rap full of anger and passion and yes, swearing. It happened. I performed it for a friend–someone may or may not have run into the room worried that we were having a bad fight, but we cleared up the confusion–and it was the most freeing thing I’ve experienced in months. I’ll probably never share it again, because for me, it was art and it was therapy and it was true and real and good, but only in the time and place it occurred. I felt okay swearing because I owned those words–they didn’t own me. I was choosy, too; I didn’t use the Lord’s name in vain, because I love Him. The other words expressed my anger, but to use His name? No, He’s my best friend.
Maybe God is okay that I “made a sinny,” as I’ve heard it called, by swearing. I know for sure that He understands my heartache and frustration at life. I know He knows I’m at the end of my rope but I’m holding on. And I even think, though I can’t be sure, that He was okay that I felt angry and that I let it out. I suspect He understands that sometimes when humans are too numb to feel anything, experiencing anger is the sweetest relief.
This gospel I subscribe to is definitely a gospel of love. And I want to be more loving, not more angry. But for me, and my close friend, and for others out there that struggle with perfectionism, I think the Lord understands that sometimes you need to be okay with your sins. After all, without them, you wouldn’t need His Atonement. And for the record, I believe that no matter what you’ve done or how you feel about life or yourself or Him, He loves you. And that will never change.
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If you’ve read to the bottom, you deserve this tidbit of information: I am sick. Let me rephrase that. Maney, you are sick. If you had diabetes and it was kicking your butt, you would take insulin. If you had cancer and it was eating at you, you’d get chemo. Maney, you have depression. It will kill you if you don’t deal with it! Readers, as embarrassing as it is to admit, I think I have stigma against taking happy pills because I don’t want to do it again. I guess the first step is acknowledging the problem. More to come.