Friday, May 19, 2017

Why We Need to Hate Our Own Sin

I'm tired of hearing about sin...

A friend and I are doing a Bible study, Deepening Your Worship by Lorraine Hill. Usually, I write my own studies, so it's different to be doing one someone else wrote. Sometimes, this study stomps all over my spiritual toes.

Today was one of those days. This week's topic has been about pursuing holiness, and today's topic is the seriousness of sin. She's a little blunt, but I love her words because they're so true.

"We may view the Lord as an indulgent old man, a grandfather who spoils us and winks at our sin. We confuse the Lord's patience and long-suffering with tolerance; but the Lord hates sin and will always rebuke it." (1)

Truth rang in my heart as I read those sentences. There is a tendency to view God as indulgent with His children... partly because we, in the U.S., live in a society that's obsessed with our own sense of entitlement. 

We've mentally devised a list of perceived "rights" to which we believe we're entitled, and we expect to receive them. Tucked into the list is the right to sin in the way we prefer. We would, of course, never admit to this perceived sin-right, but that's the way we live.

I'm ashamed to admit that it's the way I live, too. I also behave as if God hates every sin except my own. That's the heart of the matter, isn't it? We easily condemn the sin of others while cherishing and guarding our own. 

Here's the truth of the matter: God hates sin. All of it. Even our sin.

Here's another hard truth: God requires payment for all sin...even our favorite sin...even when we don't think it's a big deal at all. 

Sin is a big deal to God.

What are we, as God's people, to do? Admit our sin and stop it. 

Yeah. I know. I don't particularly mind admitting my sin, but stopping it? That's not always on my to-do-list, but it should be.

Here's how the Apostle Paul explained it:

"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." Galatians 5:23 nasb

We are to relinquish our sin, run from it, and hate it as God hates it, not keep doing it because we think we can get away from it.

To help us understand, Paul gave us a short list of the deeds of the flesh, the ones we're supposed to be done with. This is not an exhaustive list, but it's a good start:

Sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and the like... (Gal 5:19-21)

Some of our favorite sins probably fall into one of these categories. We may not sin in the drunken orgy category, but what about the discord category? The factions or envy categories?

We have a choice. We can choose sin or we can choose holiness, but we can't have both at the same time. Here's the holiness list of choices (again, also not exhaustive): 

Love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.

Which list looks most attractive? The holiness list appeals to me. If I, as a disciple of Christ, want the holiness deeds, I'll have to relinquish, let go of, and stop the fleshly deeds. 

It's that simple. It's that hard. 

Today, let's ask God to shine His light on our hearts and reveal the sin lurking inside. When He does, let's agree with Him, admit our sin, and repent (turn 180 degrees away from our sin.) 

God hates sin, and we should, too. Especially our own.
(1) Hill, Lorraine, Deepening Your Worship, Tate Publishing, 2014. p. 129
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When Blessings Depend Upon Obedience

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