Lie 1: Sin Doesn’t Matter That Much

(A series on lies sin tells us to tempt us and trick us. Join me in exposing sin’s lies to God’s Word in this 8 part series.)

If we’re honest, we’d like to pretend sin doesn’t exist.

One of the greatest obstacles people face when considering salvation is admitting they are sinners.

As believers, we often avoid owning up to this fact. Having dealt with sin once and for all at the point of salvation, we’re glad it’s over with. Saved, we go on our merry way, regularly ignoring our sinfulness because we believe we’re good people.

Scripture refers to sin as “deceitful” for good reason (Heb 3:13.) It twists the truth, hardening our hearts towards the One who is true. This is how sin appeals to the unbeliever and believer alike. Sin twists the reality of consequences, purposes, identity, and value.

First and foremost among sin’s lies is that sin doesn’t matter that much.

Wrong. Sin matters for the unsaved and the saved alike.

lie1_verse

Sin matters because its consequences stretch all the way from eternity to right now.

For the unbeliever, sin is a pair of shackles – chains called “I’m doing my best” and “this is just the way it is.” The shackles guarantee death and separation from Christ.

Believers wear shackles with the key attached. Ignorantly we tell each other – “the shackles fit you so well!” Meanwhile, Christ has all sorts of gifts and blessings for us to carry – things we employ better when our hands aren’t tethered.

Even with a key, shackles unopened still constrain.

Willfully ignored sin is a pair of unopened shackles.

How rarely we choose this perspective.

God’s best isn’t what we’re thinking of when we give into temptation. Often, our idea of “best for me” is first and foremost.

Case Study: Gossip

We don’t think our gossip matters or even count it as sin.

Those friendly bits of information serve a purpose: enlightening someone about goings-on, helping us ease our emotional burdens, or just sharing what we heard. Our efforts even seem productive.

After all, what’s a little gossip hurt when it serves a purpose?

But gossip, even the “Christian version”, shackles us to sin. Because it’s not God’s way.

Living life God’s way is the best way. That’s why sin matters, for the Christian and nonbeliever. Sin means not embracing God’s way.

When we live as if sin matters, we prioritize what does matter: God’s way.

Interested in guest posting on First And Second? Click HERE…looking for your thoughts to add to the Sin Lies Series!

This post may also be shared on: #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, #TellHiStory, #Thought-Provoking Thursday, #DanceWithJesus, #LLMLinkup, Faith-Filled Friday, Sitting Among Friends, and #SoulSurvivalLinkup.

You Were Right!…Or Were You?

Photo from: pixabay

3 words everybody loves to hear: “you were right.”

We like to be right. Many of us try to do the right thing. In fact, our desire to be “right” is so strong and deep that we have opened its meaning up to include ideas like:

  • Do whatever feels right
  • Do whatever seems right
  • Do what is right for me might be wrong for you
  • Do the right kind of wrong

So warped is our idea of righteousness (the word which “right” is the root of) that we can live blissfully ignorant that our idea of right is absolutely wrong. This isn’t just a secular issue eluding functional logic and philosophy.

In our Christian circles, we’ve become deadset on “right” and “wrong.”

Churches divide over “right” and “wrong” decisions, big and small. Marriages end when one person is right and the other wrong. We examine Scripture to determine what we feel is right. In prayer, we sense what is “right” in our hearts. As we listen to and encourage our spouses and loved ones, we make determinations about what is “right” and push for it.

For many of us, pursuing righteousness encroaches on sin. We try to be right in order to:

  • Assuage our fears
  • Earn a good name
  • Prove ourselves trustworthy
  • Make ourselves wise
  • Build up our pride
  • Guide others
  • Get to where we want to be

In all of these things, the goal of being right is ultimately about us. Ourselves, our loved ones, our futures. But righteousness only exists in relation to God. There is no such thing as truly being “right” apart from Him.

Psalm 16:2 tells us that “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.”

When we separate being right from pleasing God, we diminish the purpose of being right in the first place. We place our goals in the sin of self and this world instead of glorifying Him. As a result, being “right” is no longer a good thing –or a righteous thing.

Instead of seeing righteous as a part of following and glorifying the Lord, our twisted concept of righteousness is reward-based.

We “save ourselves for marriage” because it’s right…because it leads to healthier relationship and whatever other reasoning we’ve been told. We submit to our husbands because it’s right…because of the benefits and the way it makes him feel. We serve others on missions trips because it’s right…AND because we’ve heard so many times that when it’s over, WE are the ones blessed.

It’s not wrong to receive blessings from the Lord, even as rewards. All good gifts do come from God.

But sometimes our idea of being “right” is a lot like the idea of the kid who shapes up right before Christmas so that Santa will think he is “good.” That’s not righteousness.

Hear and recall the words of Romans 3:

“This RIGHTEOUSNESS is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.

There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

and all are JUSTIFIED FREELY by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”

Righteousness is all about our standing with God. It has nothing to do with works, but rather the position of the heart. Regarding our eternal relationship with God, we are saved. Sealed. Guaranteed because of the grace of Christ.

In regards to our relationship with the Lord right now on earth, we are to be:

filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ–to the glory and praise of God” (Philippians 1:11.)

When we want to be right or try to be or do right, we must stop to remember why it matters at all.

Remember that being right is all about the glory and the praise of God. Is an eternity of close relationship with Him, praising Him, not our reward in heaven? Let it be our reward on earth, too. Be right by Him, and righteousness won’t be  so selfish after all. 

This post is being shared on: #Thought-Provoking Thursday #Faith-Filled Friday, and #DanceWithJesus.

You Didn’t Need to Make It Right

Photo from: genius.com

“And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” –James 1:4

Gosh. You read all that Scripture has to say about being perfect, being loving, and acting like Christ. The Words are great. The aspirations are high. But you and I always fall short. We’re always lacking in something. That’s how it feels.

We mess up. We fail.

Whether in our relationships, our attitudes, our work, our hearts, or anything else, it seems we’re always having to “make it right” even when really we haven’t done anything wrong.

Do you know this feeling?

It’s the sense that maybe you ought to apologize, even though they probably didn’t notice. Or maybe that you’ve missed out because of a poopy attitude and now you’ve got to overcompensate. You try to “make it right” just because it’s clear that something that you did or said didn’t have the outcome you expected.

…Didn’t have the outcome you expected. That’s it, isn’t it? That’s a primary cause of our culture of over-apologizing and relativizing until reality is revised to suit the desires of whoever we’re dealing with.

The resulting version of “making it right” tends to have nothing to do with right or wrong after all.

So often when we attempt to make things right, we’re attempting to make things more comfortable or easier. We’re attempting to feel better. We’re not so concerned with the “right” aspect.

That’s a problem.

Instead of trying to get it right by going to the one who makes all things right, we live Romans 10:3,

Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness.”

Believers know the righteous of God deep in their hearts, but we don’t always know it in our lives. We often think that things that are awkward or uncomfortable are wrong. We try to “fix” that which God broke for a purpose. Though there are times when we need to apologize and compromise, there are also many times when that works against the Lord’s will. But it doesn’t feel that way. We often feel that our feelings are the enemies we need to defeat instead of sin.

We know He saved us from sin –but He has also saved us from the need to be comfortable and feel better. Further, He has saved us from having to figure out “good” and “right” for ourselves.

God is the one who determines what “right” ultimately means. Our attempts at “making it right” are often better stated as our attempt to “make right our own.” We don’t have to. We have Jesus. We have the Bible. We have the Holy Spirit.

Yes. We fail. We mess up. We aren’t perfect. Even our best intentions can result in difficultly, mistakes, and pain. But the thing about His righteousness is that it stands in our stead. Jesus is our righteousness, making us faultless in the sight of the one who matters most.

Before we try to correct what we think is wrong in ourselves, our relationships, and more, we must ask if it’s wrong in the sight of God. If it’s not…then we need to let Christ’s righteousness be enough to make discomfort, pain, and mistakes fruitful.

Hands off “making it right” when it isn’t wrong. Instead, let’s try making it His. He can take care of the righteous part.

This post is being shared on: #LifeGivingLinkup #TestimonyTuesday, #RaRaLinkup, #Intentionally Pursuing, #WomenWithIntention, and #TellHiStory.