After writing about how the primary human predicament is often described through either a medical model (where the human problem is illness and what's prescribed is therapy and medicine) or a legal model (where our problem is lawlessness and crime and what's needed is punishment), Barbara Brown Taylor has these insightful words: "Contrary to the medical model, we are not entirely at the mercy of our maladies. Even within a fallen creation, we still have pockets of God-given freedom. However impoverished our circumstances, however badly we may have been used, we may still choose--for good or ill--how we will respond to what has happened to us. We may learn how to live with our tragedies or we may spend all of our time dying from them. We may decide to forgive our enemies or we may allow them to run our lives by continuing to hate them. In theological language, the choice to remain in wrecked relationship with God and other human beings is called sin. The choice to enter into the process of repair is called repentance, an often bitter medicine with the undisputed power to save lives. Contrary to the legal model, sin is not simply a set of behaviors to be avoided. Much more fundamentally, it is a way of life to be exposed and changed, and no one is innocent. But that fact need not paralyze anyone with fear, since the proper response to sin is not punishment but penance. . . . The essence of sin is not the violation of laws but the violation of relationships. Punishment is not paramount. Restoration of relationship is paramount, which means that the focus is not on paying debts but on recovering fullness of life. . . . Sin is our only hope, because the recognition that something is wrong is the first step toward setting it right again."