In the last couple of months I have been researching climate change and I came across the Butterfly Effect a term coined by Edward Lorenz, a meterology professor, in the 1960s:
“The butterfly effect is the idea that small, seemingly trivial events may ultimately result in something with much larger consequences – in other words, they have non-linear impacts on very complex systems. For instance, when a butterfly flaps its wings in India, that tiny change in air pressure could eventually cause a tornado in Iowa.” (science.howstuffworks.com)
At the same time, I have been looking at the effects of my sin, particularly in the area of a big addiction of mine: validation and approval from men and women though it takes a different form for each gender and includes neediness. I am trying to grasp that it is a sin and why it is a sin and it has shocked me the width and breadth of the harm that this one addiction has caused and I am certain I haven’t discovered it all yet as I have yet to really acknowledge it emotionally. I am still on the first layers of awakening to the sin.
But I have realised it is essential to start examining our unloving actions, thoughts and feelings if we want to learn about love and to be more loving and truthful: to awaken to our sin emotionally that can lead to repentance and us never repeating that sin again.
So, when I came across the butterfly effect I started to consider that we really have no or little awareness of what harm one sinful desire can create and we often just don’t want to know.
For many the word sin has biblical attachments and a wrathful, angry God. God is not wrathful or angry, He is good so here is Jesus’ definition of sin from last years assistance group – Understanding Sin and Its Causes (which are SO good):
Sin is the existence of will or desire in disharmony with God’s love and Principles, or the absence of will and desire in harmony with God’s Love and Principles, whether the will or desire is acted upon or not.
The effects of sin are simply what I create when my will or desire is exercised either out of harmony with God’s Love or where my will or desire in harmony with God’s Love is absent.
So I have been taking a large piece of paper – A3 size, some coloured pens and writing one sin in the middle of the page seeing where that butterfly effect takes me. What I found is that instead of the effects being just one or two there are very many and that is only the ones I have discovered at the moment.
For the sake of this blog, I have created clearer versions in a PDF.One is one I have worked through more emotions on and one I am just beginning:
I became vegetarian 16 years ago and vegan 5 years ago, but I still find more truths and emotions coming to me on that issue still, but I am much, much further on that than the validation addiction. Something like eating meat is more obvious as it’s a physical act, but the emotional addictions are sneaky. It was uncomfortable writing that list and I know it is far from complete, but I just wanted to demonstrate to myself and now to you how much of a virus sin is: what appears as one addiction has far reaching consequences.
The analogy of the butterfly effect in relation to sin isn’t perfect and I am not debating the science of it, but by its definition has helped me consider the many layers and effects of one addiction and the many sins created from it. It’s uncomfortable and if it isn’t we need to ask why we are so desensitised or resistive to feeling the truth. We can’t change and won’t change anything we keep denying and need to develop a desire to be more sincere in awakening and feeling the effects of our sin and ultimately the cause.
Please also remember that every addiction, every facade, every negative emotion including fear, that we choose to not release from our soul is unloving. We can have compassion for the cause, but we mustn’t justify our sin. Sin is sin as Love is Love.
Also, just to add it’s not about judging yourself or each other – just being totally honest and becoming sensitive to the effects of the sin and desiring to emotionally understand the cause. As Jesus has often described – our sin is the mud stuck on us that we need to remove ourselves, but it’s not the real us – God’s perfect creation.
I hope that sharing my experiment and reflections will help you too and I highly recommend watching the Understanding Sin series.