It's not that we shouldn't take sin seriously. Of course, we should. Sin is our biggest problem. Sin is what kills us all. Sin is what separated us from God in the first place.
But, look at what God did! This passage from Ephesians is such a great motivator. Yes, sin was our problem. But, God, in His love for us, took care of that problem for us. He wanted to be with us. He wanted to make us part of His family. So, He did it all! He has not yet wiped away all sin and sickness and sorrow, but one day He will. And in the meantime, He has eliminated sin's most devastating effect upon us and He "has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ". "This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."
I think that many of "us Christians" sometimes put too much emphasis on our sins. Again, I am not minimizing the impact sin has on us. But, for Christians, there are things that matter more. (I had trouble even writing that!) God Himself doesn't see us as sinful beings. He sees us as "holy and without fault", and it's all because He gave us Jesus! "This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."
Once we have been adopted into God's own family through Jesus Christ we realize that we are sinners. Confession of our sin and a lifestyle of repentance are a part of the "adoption process". Our sin has been dealt with. NOW, God wants us to "have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is." "This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."
If our focus is on our sin, or even someone else's sin, as if we could change it, we can never understand the width, length, height, and depth of His love for us. And though we can never fully understand His love for us, we can fully experience it and live in it. That is His intention and desire for us. If we only see ourselves as sinful creatures, how are we ever going to see ourselves as the forgiven children of God that we are? "This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."
Once we were held in bondage to sin. Those chains have been broken. We have been set free from any hold that sin once held upon us. That is our past. Why do we sit here clutching those chains that have been broken? Why do we still see ourselves as Satan wants us to be seen? Why do we feel like we have to punish ourselves when Jesus has already taken our punishment upon Himself? Why do we, in effect, say, "Lord, your suffering was not enough. I have to suffer a little more. I have to pay the price for my sin because you just didn't quite cover it!"? The suffering that we have been called to is not for our sin, but for Jesus Christ!
In other words, don't suffer because of your sin. Suffer because of your love for Christ. There is a difference. One is useless and unnecessary and destructive, the other leads to glory. And, again, Jesus already suffered for your sin so you don't have to.
Romans 8:16-18 (ESV) The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
2 Corinthians 4:17 (NIV) For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
God is neither complimented nor glorified by what we do to ourselves. He is glorified by what He has done for us and in us, and He is worshiped when it is lived by us. "This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."
Colossians1:21-23 This includes you who were once far away from God. You were his enemies, separated from him by your evil thoughts and actions. Yet now he has reconciled you to himself through the death of Christ in his physical body. As a result, he has brought you into his own presence, and you are holy and blameless as you stand before him without a single fault. But you must continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News.
"This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."
God takes great pleasure in the fact that He has relieved us of the burden and the penalty for our sin. Why, then, should we feel like we have to continue to carry it around? Do you want to live in a way that pleases God? I would say that starts and is fueled by what He has told us brings Him pleasure. "Accept" what pleases Him rather than trying to "do" what pleases Him. " . . . continue to believe this truth and stand firmly in it". "This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure."
Yes, He wants us to stand firm in our faith and to resist temptation. And He also wants us to live saved, to live loved, and to live forgiven, all things that He has done for us! Did I mention that He wanted to do all this and that it gave Him great pleasure? (Believe me, I am drilling myself on this more than anyone else.)
It bears repeating yet again: "This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure." So, try repeating it throughout your day. See if your perspective changes. See if your view of YOU changes.