I feel like I need to say a little bit more about the effects of Sin in our lives after rereading my previous post, “Is ____ A Sin?” To sum up what I said in that post, Sin (or sinning) is not detrimental to our eternal life but it has potentially severe ramifications in our natural (physical) life. But what about our spiritual life? That is a subject of much debate!
Many (Fundamentalists) claim that any sin committed causes separation between you and God – from God’s side. They claim that God cannot stand the stench of sin and cannot be in your presence.
Some (Liberals) claim that there is absolutely no affect on your spiritual life and you just go ahead and do whatever your little heart desires.
A third school of thought (from those wacky “Grace” people) is that your spiritual life is affected, but because of the guilt, condemnation and shame that come from your own mind (and from “demonic whispers”). This causes you to withdraw from God because of how you feel about what you did.
I, personally, am on the last bus. God forgives us and remembers our sins no more (we’ll come back to this). If that is true, how/why would God hold our sin against us and build a wall between us that WE have to tear down – Jesus already did this the second the veil of the Temple was “rent in twain” (who have I become, using such language?).
God does care. I think it breaks His heart to see us stumble and fall – much like it breaks my heart to see my kids suffer in any way or purposely disobey me or their mother. That’s one reason why God gave us the gift of His Holy Spirit (which dwells in us) to let us know when we mess up and council us through it so we can get back to our pure relationship with the Father.
However, we get ourselves all worked up over what we did, and if we forget anything we have an adversary that will remind us – Satan is referred to in scripture (Revelation 12:10) as “the accuser of our brethren.”
We build barriers, God tears them down. We go off, like the “Prodigal Son,” and come back with our tail between our legs and a prepared “repentance speech” that God doesn’t even let us get out before He embraces us as fully restored sons.
Again, I will say what I said in my previous post, we put too much emphasis on Sin – be it ours or someone elses. We need to focus on our relationship with the Father and grow in that, confident of who He is and who we are in Him.
Sin does affect our spiritual life, but only because we let it. The sooner we get over how we feel about what we did, repent (change our mind/direction) and get back in step with God (praying, reading the Word, serving, etc), our spiritual life is restored.
Now, the next big topic: We shouldn’t want to sin. We should be reading our Bible trying to figure out God’s plan/purpose for our lives. As we follow Him, we naturally stop sinning. Often, we don’t even have to try not to do *that thing* that causes all of our grief and heartache. It is not uncommon to put effort into the process, but God gives us grace for it if we simply ask Him for it.
I struggle with addiction, I have what is referred to as an “addictive personality.” Food, porn, smoking, drinking… Luckily, never drugs. I have dabbled in way more than I should have, some of these since a very young age. I have found myself becoming less and less into “destructive” addictions over the past few years – food is still a big one for me though (as I alluded to in the other article). I have put myself on a very tight restriction of caloric intake (aka, a diet). I truly believe God gave me the desire to drop some unwanted (not to mention unnecessary) weight – He’s also giving me the strenght to do it.
Now that I’ve shared with countless strangers more than I ever intended to…
I hope I don’t come off as having false modesty, but I truly give God the credit for any and every success in my life – learning programming languages, losing weight, preparing for ministry – it’s all Him using me.
If you get nothing else from this post, get this: Sin is a big deal, but not as big as we allow it to be in our mind. The Sin-debt is paid, He tore the veil, He loves you, He forgives you, He’s waiting for you to forgive yourself and get back to working with Him to accomplish His work in you and use you to change the world.