Jackie Hill Perry once said, “If you’re not having fun when you sin, you’re doing it wrong.”
She isn’t lying.
If sin wasn’t appealing, we wouldn’t fall for it so often!
We are presented with thousands of choices every single day, and sometimes the pull to give in to what’s easy or gratifying in the moment wins out.
We drink too much at an open bar in Maryland just because it’s free (not speaking from personal experience or anything).
We let ourselves get too close with someone we know God doesn’t have for us, at least not right now, because it feels better than another night alone watching reruns of the Golden Girls.
We lose our temper with that one family member, and although it may not be fun, there is something so satisfying about letting our emotions fly unchecked.
Or how about when we sin by not doing what God has told us to do?
We neglect the needs of those around us because it’s inconvenient.
We hold back when we need to stand up or speak out because it’s uncomfortable and people might get mad at us.
Sin may feel great in the moment, but there are always, always consequences.
Sin is rebellion against God and his commands. When we sin, we are saying we know better than God. The problem with this is that God isn’t some bossy, mean dictator. He loves us. He created us. His commands are always for our benefit, because he knows what’s best and he knows the harm it causes us and others when we do exactly what he says not to do.
When we drink too much, we are way more likely to make bad decisions. Also, we will feel like we got trampled by a whole rodeo the next day.
When we are intimate with someone we’re not married to, both people face a gamut of unpleasant and sometimes irreversible consequences.
When we lose our temper, we damage the relationship we have with the other person.
When we don’t show up for those around us, we miss an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
When we chicken out in standing firm in our Christian convictions, we do a disservice to those around us. People won’t seek healing unless they know they are sick. No one is set free when we refuse to speak truth and call one another to repentance and restoration.
When we sin, we grieve the heart of God, we make our own lives harder, and if we claim to be Christians, we can really mess up our witness.
I am guilty of every single one of these, and I’m betting you might relate to at least one or two. And if you don’t, add pride and arrogance to your list (…pause for uncomfortable laughter).
Man. If we were left to our own devices, we would be done for.
I often lament at my own sinfulness. I tell myself I should have it together by now. And I don’t. I really don’t. But God has given me a hatred for my sin, and a desire to live righteously. And so I keep going, rejoicing at the wins; repenting and asking God for help when I fail.
He is so faithful.
We have a God who is able to redeem our past. We have a Helper who can give us strength to overcome temptation in our present. We have a Savior who has made a way for sinners like us to have peace with a Holy God.
God has always taken sin seriously. I’m really glad we don’t have to sacrifice bulls and doves these days. Jesus has come; he sacrificed himself on our behalf. Such amazing news! Make no mistake, though: this is not a free pass to live however we want. God still hates sin! It’s still bad for us. It still grieves his heart.
Sin may be fun at the time, but it will never bring lasting joy. Unrepentant sinners will find themselves eternally separated from God, and that doesn’t sound fun at all.
We will mess up. But we have Scripture as the ultimate authority! It tells us plainly how we should live to please God: a clear and trustworthy map to show us how to get back on track. We have the Holy Spirit to help us repent and believe that God’s way is better. We don’t have to stay in the wilderness of our sin, and we shouldn’t leave others there, either.
Obeying God often isn’t fun in the moment, but it’s always, always worth it.
He loves us too much to leave us where we are.
Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away. These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death. ~ James 1:14-15
But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.
If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. ~James 1:22-27
Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” ~ Mark 1:14-15
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. ~Galatians 5:16-25
No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ~Hebrews 12:11
One Comment Add yours
Yes and Amen.
You are right to point out the insidious nature of sin. It never leaves us untouched.
Thanks for writing.
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