This week I’m tackling the age-old question, “Does my sin really matter?” If you’ve been around for a while, you know my word for 2019 is WONDER and I’ve been committed to tackling some of the tough questions I’ve wrestled with. And if you’re like me, you have wondered about this one a time or two or maybe even more…
Do my secret sins matter?
What if I’m not hurting anybody else?
Or it’s only affecting me?
I know what Scripture has to say about it but I’ve still been tempted to think some sins are harmless or that I can handle the impact of my careless decisions. I’ve even wondered if certain sins can really be sins if I’m the only one impacted by them.
But I had an experience recently that really drove home the point (pun intended).
A Driving Lesson About Sin
I was driving home from an errand about 30 minutes from home. I was short on time, so I had not only skipped lunch, but also a restroom stop before heading east on the interstate. Not more than a mile down the road traffic stopped dead. There I was, 29 miles from home with waning minutes until my boys got off the bus, my stomach growling, and my bladder threatening to explode. To say I was miserable would be an understatement. A quick check of my traffic app (hey, I was at a standstill) revealed an accident ahead caused the delay.
Some of the thoughts that ran through my head aren’t fit to publish. But then…
Somebody was probably texting and driving.
I bet they thought they could handle it.
Or that they were the only ones in danger.
Boy were they wrong.
How careless can they be?
Don’t they know they’ve not only put hundreds of cars at risk of being rear-ended or worse?
And all these delayed schedules.
They should have been paying better attention.
He probably has no idea the trouble he has caused all these people.
But then I felt that all too familiar tingle in my soul. The one that alerts me a deep spiritual lesson coming my way.
If you only knew how many times your careless sin damaged others.
If only you knew how often your secret sin caused distress.
If only you knew how often those sins you thought you could handle defiled you.
But the sin issue is deeper.
All people, having been created in the image of God have an unconscious, unlearned knowledge of His moral law. Those of us who have received God’s gift of grace by faith and the salvation of Jesus Christ have been sealed with the Holy Spirit Whose job it is to teach and convict us of sin, and lead us according to God’s will, as well as to give us a desire to live in a way that is pleasing to God.
My flesh cannot help but choose to please itself, to sin. When I choose myself, I automatically fail to put God first. No matter what great or small sin I commit, I have committed two. Whenever I sin, I break the first commandment in addition to whatever other sin I’ve committed.
No Victimless Sin
I may never know the damage my sin causes others, but there is no victimless sin. My soul cannot help but feel the separation from God my sin causes. And my soul’s greatest desire is unity with the One who created it.
Though my sins are forgiven by the blood of Christ, I still suffer their consequences when I refuse to repent.
If I refuse to admit that I have failed to live according to God’s standard, I won’t feel it necessary to confess. And when I don’t confess my sins, I cannot receive God’s forgiveness. In fact, if I refuse to admit I’ve sinned, I am calling God a liar. Even though my flesh and the devil may try to convince me I don’t need forgiveness for the small and inconsequential or unintentional things I do or justify the good I fail to do, my soul knows better.
My soul feels the separation even when I refuse to admit the sin.
Even the sins that seem only to hurt me, separate me from my Creator because He is holy. Not only that, but the shame that creeps in from knowing deep within my soul that I’ve done wrong will eventually lead me to isolate myself from the people in my life in a vain attempt to keep that sin hidden. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, I begin to think I can hide my sin from God. But there is no hiding from the one who breathes life into my spirit with His very own breath. Before Him I am continuously laid bare, every sinful thought, deed, and word exposed. As naked and painful as that may feel, I can face it knowing God’s love poured out in His Son’s blood on the cross conquers all my sin.
When I choose to expose it, to confess it, to repent of it, I can receive all the benefits of peace and light and love and joy and unity His salvation brings.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me.”Psalm 51:12
So, does my sin really matter? Yes. Emphatically YES.
We cannot become the masterpieces God created us to be when we refuse to repent of the messes we make and receive God’s forgiveness.Does your sin really matter? #wonder #sin Click To Tweet