Not for the first time, one of my children stood before me, caught in sin. Lines of Hershey’s syrup striped the beige carpet running the length of the couch. When faced with the question “Why?” or the ever popular “What were you thinking?” he answered, “I don’t know.”
And you know what?
That’s a scriptural answer.
Paul describes it this way in Ephesians 4:17-19.
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.”
Paul’s scenario depicts a lifestyle of sin, so don’t wig out when your child makes the occasional mistake. However, Paul gives us insight into sin’s effects as it becomes a habit and eventually a way of life.
My ability to understand becomes muddy. The clarity between right and wrong fades into fuzzy edges, like the small print on the eye exam. Consequently, my decision-making abilities are compromised. Paul uses the word ignorance. One of Webster’s definitions for ignorance is “unaware.” Others see the issue. I do not.
God never leaves the believer, but the closeness of my relationship with God is impacted by sin. Just as conflict affects relationships with friends and family, sin grieves the Holy Spirit and hinders intimacy with God.
Hard is good when it comes to hats at a construction site. With a heart, hard is not so great. A hard heart is calloused. It has lost sensitivity to the things of God. To what is pure, lovely, excellent, and praiseworthy. This loss of sensitivity leads to a loss of control. Paul tells us the hard heart is driven by lust—the desire of the moment—be it food, alcohol, or Facebook. Lust says I must have it now.
Samson depicts this person to a T. Three times Delilah sets him up for capture. The fourth time brings success.
Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
But four times? Seriously!
That Samson, the one who was called by God from birth, should end up captured by the enemy, blinded and in chains, is illogical.
Because no logic supports sinning against a God who loves us perfectly.
What leads you to sin? You may have different drives or motives for different sins.
What is God’s answer to that?
Does sin make sense?
Look at James 1:13-15. (Save vs. 16-17 to wrap up.) Talk through different sins and how each one eventually leads to some type of death: physically, emotionally, and/or spiritually.