At Victory Home, the main curriculum we use for the women is the Bible study by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Lies Women Believe. We take it slowly, the whole book lasting six months.
The section we are looking at this week is about the lies we believe about sin. Tonight we discuss the lie that our sin isn’t really that bad.
I think most people would not come out and say that they believe that, but their lifestyle proves that they do.
Many people think that since they don’t do drugs, drink, sleep around, rob banks, etc, that they are really not that bad. I mean, once you get those sins out of the way, what’s left?
What’s left is usually what we tend to call “weaknesses,” “struggles,” or even “personality traits.”
– wasting time
– talking too much
– eating or drinking too much
– a sharp tongue
– a critical spirit
– selfish motives
And those are just the things we do that we ought not – there’s also a list of things we don’t do that we ought.
– be involved in church
– give to those in need
– encourage others
– study God’s word
– be thankful
At this point, allow me to point out that these lists are not exhaustive.
So what’s the big deal about these things?
Why is worrying every now and then wrong? Because God said don’t.
Why is not tithing a big deal? Because God said do.
Why is church important? Because God said it is.
The problem is that we find it easier to decide how to live by looking at other people around us rather than God’s word.
If everyone else is doing it, is it ok? Sure, we teach our kids that it’s not, but are we really living that way?
When you’re driving down the road and everyone is going 20mph over the speed limit, is it okay for you to break the law, too?
When someone else is gossiping, is it okay for you to join in? After all, you don’t want to be rude….
If no one else is going on visitation, why should you?
But what would happen of we started thinking of every “little” (or perhaps more accurately, “pet”) sin as rebellion and treason against the Lord of Hosts? As a revolt against the King of the universe?
As long as we look at ourselves and each other, we will never see who we really are or the hideousness of our sin. Because we are all the same.
We won’t see what’s wrong till we see what’s right.
Do you remember the commercial for bleach? Where they have the two socks, and ask people to pick which one is whiter? What would happen if the true white sock wasn’t there, though. What if there were five of the almost white socks? Without the real white one there as a standard, the others would look clean.
We can’t expect God to be okay with us using each other to determine our obedience and growth.
God calls us to be holy and perfect like Him. We are not naturally that way. God is the only one who is pure, holy, and perfect. Therefore, we must devote our energy and attention to learning about Him. If He is the standard, we must study Him so that we know what to do, not do, how to act and not act.
What would happen if we used God as our growth chart?
I think we would develop and cultivate a sense of horror of our sin.
And that would be totally awesome.
Because until we see how truly wicked we are in everything we do, we will never take seriously the commands of God and therefore, we will become stunted in our growth by thinking that now that the “biggie sins” are of the way, we can just coast into heaven.
This way of life is easy and it feels good because we now have an excuse to do nothing. As long as there are worse sinners than us, we don’t have to do anything. And so we indulge our pride and place ourselves above others.
But oh, what a beautiful thing it would be if we could share this prayer from the puritans:
Unmask to me sin’s deformity,
That I may hate it, abhor it, flee from it…
Let me never forget that the heinousness of sin
Lies not so much in the nature of the sin committed,
As in the greatness of the person sinned against.
In a word: passionate. About Jesus, church, ministry, music, reading, family, friends, and sometimes even iced skinny soy mochas.