Monday, October 27, 2014

Oh, the Disaster Sin Has Caused!

Sin ruins people.  It destroys relationships.  It causes any self-worth we have to dissipate.  It takes far more than it gives.  Its pleasures are short-lived and too often, the consequences are far-reaching and lasting.  The ravenous desire for sin in its varying forms has led many down a dark and destructive path, a journey that had twists and turns (and hurts, bondage, loneliness, regret, shame, overwhelming guilt) and unforeseen damage; not only to the individual committing the perverse or heinous acts, but to those affected by the poor decisions we made as well.

Too much is at stake.  Too much.  Our health, money, marriage, time, intimacy with God, willingness to be open about our lives with others, friendship, well-being, and even sanity.

How many of us look back at the sins done in secret throughout the last decade and smile?  Do we feel proud at the way everything turned out?  Are we really content with the orgasm that led to AIDS or the flirtatious relationship with a co-worker that turned into an adulterous fling which left our marriages broken and our spouse hurting, disillusioned, bitter, and lonely?  Was the thrill of stealing as a teen worth going to juvenile hall?  Was losing our virginity to someone we just met weeks before on the night of prom worth the pleasure (even though now we look back and say, "Why didn't I just wait?!  I would have loved to share this experience with my now husband or wife."

Life is filled with many if-onlys and what-ifs.  Like my brother has said before (something to this effect), "Why is it that everyone knows how messed up people are and the bad choices they make and we can all agree certain actions or decisions are destructive...and yet no one does anything about it and we continue on living like we haven't even gotten a glimpse of the repercussions?"

It's so easy to be intimate with our boyfriend or girlfriend when we are alone, it's late at night, or we have compromised in our convictions by the movie we chose to see at the theatre earlier that day or the suggestive flirting we took part in on the drive home.

It's so easy to drink (only a few beers, right?  I'll only get tipsy...which doesn't really qualify as being drunk, right?) when we agree to celebrate a friend or family member's birthday at a bar after work on Friday.

It's so easy to "just check email" and then choose to click on the ad at the side of the page that shows a provocatively dressed woman or view an article about so and so on the Yahoo! home page.

Oh, how naive and full of excuses the human heart is and how we long so greatly to get our way and are willing to use any excuse in the book to experience momentary gratification!

It's so easy to end up searching for porn or at least nude photographs to jack off too (because after all, I'm bored, lonely, horny and depressed...or I am rewarding myself for doing so well lately with abstaining from acting out sexually, so what's wrong with a little masturbation fantasy?)

And it's so easy difficult to strive for purity in all aspects of life, regardless of how badly we want to give in or indulge or lie to ourselves and say, "Just one more time!"

Yet nothing worth having comes easy.  Every worthwhile pursuit takes time, effort, diligence, work, and saying no to anything that would hinder our goal from being accomplished.

While followers of Christ will never be sinless as we walk this earth, this is by no means an excuse to run with every sinful whim or sexual urge (or longing for alcohol...) we have.  Claiming God's grace and justifying our behavior by saying God understands we are weak and has made His forgiveness possible for our slip-ups is missing the point.  Just read Romans chapter six.

What does God's word say?

"What shall we say then?  Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?  May it never be!  How shall we who died to sin still live in it?"  Romans 6: 1-2

"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires."  Galatians 5: 24

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts."  Romans 13: 14

" 'For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.' "  Jeremiah 2: 13

Sin leaves us empty.  God fills us and makes us whole, redeemed, and restored.

What will it be?  What will you choose, even now?


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