Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Pain Sin Causes

About a month ago, my grandmother slipped on a rug in the bathroom and fell on her arm/side.  She now has a large bruise and has been in a lot of pain (thankfully though, as petite as she is, did not break anything).  When I asked her recently how she is feeling, she replied, "I am getting better.  It will take time to heal.  I now know better in a situation like that and will be more careful so I don't make the same mistake of falling like that.  It's not fun to almost constantly be in pain."

I am sharing that with you all because there is a really good lesson behind what happened to her and what she learned from it.

  • She knows that certain actions (i.e. not being careful when there is a rug on the floor that she could easily slip on if she isn't cautious) can bring about lasting pain.
  • She wishes she would've been more conscious in discerning & preparing/looking out for a common occurence among the elderly (or those clumsy like myself at times)
  • If she could go back, she would have been wiser with the circumstances that led to her backache and daily need for aspirin (buying a rug that could not slip, not being in a hurry, etc.)

This situation, albeit a description of physical pain because of an accident, teaches us that there are potential pitfalls everywhere (whether it is glass in the road, slipping while running outside, or dabbling in porn use out of curiosity that week it was required of you to work overtime at your job in order to finish a project) and shows our great need for not only avoiding people, places, situations, and things that could lead us to sin or astray from God, but also having safety measures in place so when we are faced with "temptation", we are better prepared to find victory and honor God in the process.

Thomas Watson said it best, "There is a great deal of difference between falling into a temptation and running into a temptation.  The falling into a temptation shall work for good (Romans 8: 28), not the running into it.  He who falls into a river is fit for help and pity, but he who desperately runs into it is guilty of his own death."

Examine your life.  All aspects of it.  Everything from "me-time" when you get home from work or school, to how you spend your 60 minute lunch break at the office or the free time you have in between college classes twice a week, to the web sites you visit when no one is home or you can't sleep in the middle of the night.  And ask yourself these questions:

  1. How am I making sin convenient?
  2. How have I made giving into temptation easy?
  3. What movies, books, TV shows, friendships, magazine articles, or social media sites are weekly, if not daily, contributing to my downfall and growing disinterest in God?
  4. Would I be ashamed if someone I knew was aware of how I have spent my time over the last two weeks?
  5. Would I feel embarrassed if somebody I respect were to confront me on the sin I am currently delighting in?
  6. Where does God fit into my life pertaining to sin?
  7. Do I justify my actions and fantasy by claiming that God will forgive me and His grace covers me...or have I read & memorized Romans chapter six which states the Lord's grace is not cheap and isn't something to trample on or use to my advantage?

A good God and loving Father full of grace would not view our deliberate sinful choices flippantly.  Because of His very nature and character, He disciplines us so we may share His holiness (Hebrews 12: 10) yet it is His kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2: 4)!

"Settling for the relief of grace but ignoring its reign, is like enjoying anesthesia but rejecting life-giving surgery."  Scotty Smith

Why would we want to willfully walk into a maze of unforeseen consequences?  This is precisely what we do whenever we indulge in sin (whether openly or in secret).  It is like playing with fire expecting to not get burned or planting an apple tree and expecting to reap oranges (see Galatians 6: 7).

"What you plant now, you will harvest later."  Anonymous

Whatever your sins of choice, you do not want to carry them into your future.  They will be the ruin of your life in many ways, I promise you that.  Sin will steal your desire for God & holiness.  It will greatly lessen your esteem of the Bible.  Sin will affect your relationships, diminish your joy and kill your will to live.  It will affect your self-esteem and IS NOT GOD'S BEST FOR YOU.  Read that:  It is NOT God's best for you.

No matter how pleasurable and regardless of the reality that others aren't aware of your secrets, please listen to me when I plead with you as a fellow soldier in Christ to do whatever it takes to repent and turn your heart fully to God in complete surrender.  Jesus is the only One who is capable of making you a new creature (Second Corinthians 5: 17), a person with new desires & attractions, a renewed mind (Romans 12: 2) and a purged heart.  Please submit yourself to Him and acknowledge Him in all your ways.

My hope and prayer is that God will use me in the lives of many; showing both a godly example of one who fears God & takes His word seriously and shining light on my history with sin as to warn others of its very real consequences.

"The most effective way to evade valid advice for genuine spiritual growth and discipline is to shrug it off with, 'That’s legalistic'. "  John Njoroge


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