Hello Friends! And a special hello to visitors from the Encouragement Cafe, I'm grateful you've joined me here. In my devotional, "Guilt + Shame = Unworthy", I shared a bit about what we need to do when we struggle with thoughts all these emotions create. I also touched on the idea of feeling bad when we sin, which leads me to this post.
Sin..it's a little word with a BIG meaning. If you grew up in the church, it's a word you probably learned at a young age. If not, it might be a bit foreign to you. If I asked one of my little boys what it meant they'd say something like, "Doin bad stuff" or "Something that gets you in trouble." Webster defines it as "an offense against a religious or moral law". Biblically we could say it's what separates us from God. Romans 3:23 also states that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."
Sin isn't the typical topic for a blog post or a friendly conversation, it's an idea we'd like to avoid, but yet it's a reality of our lives, so it's something we need to address. First of all I don't want this to be a downer of a post and it's not at all what I expected to write about, but yet it's what God has on my heart. As people, it can be easy to look at the world around us and see all the places others are falling short, mistakes they are making and rules they are breaking. But most of us aren't that quick when we look in the mirror.
This morning as we finished family devotions, my husband asked, "What did Joseph do when he was tempted to sin?" One of my little people had the answer - "He ran." He removed himself from the situation and didn't think about flirting with the temptation. He lived out a quote we try to teach our kids - "Call sin, sin and don't enter in."
As the day has passed, I've thought about this from time to time...the moment I wanted to say something to my husband that I'd later regret, the time my daughter frustrated me and I kept my mouth shut and when Satan tried to plant a seed of doubt and I silenced the voice of the one who comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Friend, sin is more than what we see in the news (though it's there), at times it's what God sees when He looks at my heart and maybe even your's. Sure I'm not on the late night news and you won't be in today's headlines, but sin is sin.
God doesn't look at things the way we do...in His eyes sin is sin. This is addressed in the 10 Commandments (see Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:4-21) and Jesus takes things a bit further and talks about murder not being limited to physical death, but how we can murder with our mouths in anger. (Matt. 5:19-22) He also addresses adultery and how lusting is a form of that. (Matt. 5:27-28) Jesus addresses all of the original 10 Commandments and we must remember we will be held responsible for our actions and our thoughts.
Sin may not be something we often talk about, but I've been reminded it's something we need to think about and do something about. This isn't an easy task; like I mentioned in my blog it can leave us feeling guilty, shameful and unworthy. But if left unaddressed it can leave us prideful, empty and separated from the God who created us, loves us and is willing to forgive us.
Friend, today I encourage you to take a look in the mirror and ask God to examine your heart - He will show you the sin in it. And when He does, ask Him to help you admit it, address it, repent of it and work through it. He will do that too. Remember the world may not read about this or see it on the news, but God already knows. Shouldn't that be all that matters?
If thoughts of this little exercise leaving you feeling unworthy, please join me in remembering the lesson we learned from the prodigal son - he let those feelings drive him to the dad who loved him. Oh that we will do the same!!
To close, here are the most important words of the whole post...ones that come from God's Word...ones that have the power to transform...ones that are useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
"He who conceals his sin doesn't not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." Proverbs 28:13
If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. James 4:17