Each of us may have our own definition of sin, but this one from Susannah Wesley to her preacher son is …really amazing.
….whatever weakens your reasoning,
….what ever impairs your tenderness of conscience,
….whatever obscures your sense of the things of God,
….whatever takes away your desire for spiritual things,
In short ….whatever increases the power and authority of the flesh over the Spirit,
Then, this thing is sin, no matter how innocent it may be in itself.
Mary Slessor ( 1848-1915)
Mary at age 27, left Scotland in 1876 for Africa. She had heard of the death of David Livingstone in May of 1873, and desired to go to the cannibals of Africa. She came to be called the “white Ma”, and served in the field many years. At times she was very lonely, and longed for the companionship of another missionary.
After returning from a short furlough in Scotland, she met Charles Morrison, a mission teacher stationed in Duke Town, Africa. They fell in love and he asked her to marry him, even though Mary was considerably older. She accepted, if the mission board would approve, and Charles would join her in her jungle work.
She said, “I lay it all in God’s hands and will take from Him what He sees best for His work. My life was laid on the altar for His people long ago, and I would not take back one ‘jot or tittle’ of it. If it be for His glory and the advantage of His cause here to let another join in the work, I will be grateful. If not, I will try to be grateful, as the Lord knows best.”
The mission board disapproved of the marriage. Thus Mary’s dream of love, marriage, and a family was shattered. But humbly she said, “What the Lord ordains is right”, and the heart ache she suffered from this loss no one was to know. Her Heavenly Father became increasingly dear. He must continue to be her first love. Loneliness and companionship were offered up to the Lord as another sacrifice to God for her call to serve Him in Africa.