I have been thinking a great deal about sin. For instance, recently a well-know Christian leader was found to have been participating in sexual sin with several women. The world is appalled and disgusted, fingers are being wagged and pointed. “Hypocrite, hypocrite!!” is shouted from the rooftops.
I remember when I was a young woman, I heard of a Christian leader involved in sexual sin. I was appalled and disgusted. “How can this be?” I thought. “How can people who claim to know God, and claim to be surrendered to Him, do such things.”
My heart was broken for this situation. My heart was broken for God.
With time and experience, I saw this repeated over and over again. Women having affairs, and leaving their husbands—breaking hearts, breaking families, breaking children. Men having affairs, leaving their wives, breaking hearts, breaking families, breaking children.
That’s the thing about sin. It hurts others. It destroys. It mars the image of God in our lives.
Make no mistake—we are involved in an invisible spiritual battle. The devil is a prowling lion seeking whom he may devour. A lion takes down those at the fringe of the herd. He takes the hurt, the vulnerable, the unprotected.
Satan wants to take us down. He wants to use us to take down each other. How does he do this?
He uses our fear– our fear of pain, our fear of consequences, our fear of God, and our fear of each other. He will lie to us and twist the truth.
We need to care more about God and what He thinks of us, than what we think of each other and the consequences our sin may carry. Why is this important? Because we hide our sin from God, and from each other.
We need to bring our sin out into the light and receive God’s forgiveness and healing and power. We usually don’t bring that sin out into the light, and confess it to Him or to each other, because we don’t want to be judged and rejected.
God is not rejecting us. He wants to heal us. Many people who participate in 12 step programs receive healing when they go to the people they have sinned against, and admit their sin, and ask for forgiveness. Some people may not forgive them, and they face that possibility– but in the process, they learn to receive God’s forgiveness and they learn to forgive themselves. They overcome the temptation to sin again, as they see the evidence with their own eyes, of how their sin has hurt others—they see the devastation their sin has wrought.
2 Tim 2:22 tells us what to do when we are faced with temptations: “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”
- FLEE– youthful passions!! That’s what Joseph did when faced with sexual temptation. That’s what we need to do. Run!! Sometimes we think—I’ve got this, I won’t succumb. God tells us to flee!! Look for the escape and take it!! I Corinthians 10:13
- PURSUE righteousness, faith, love and peace. Pursue God, get to know Him, spend time in His Word. Pray—talk with Him, every day, every moment!! We need to care more about what God thinks of us than what others think. People will never be able to fill the empty, infinite void in my heart, or in your heart. Only an infinite being can do that—only our Father God can do that.
- Do this ALONG WITH others who call on the Lord from a pure heart. Join a bible study—I’m part of an on-line women’s bible study right now. Go to a church where God’s Word is honored and preached, and where love and grace are demonstrated. (It is much harder for Satan to take us down, when we run with the Herd.) People who have been able to finish their races well– here on earth —had accountability and support from trusted, Godly people. I think of Billy Graham, who traveled with the same, Godly men for the duration of his ministry and there was never a hint of sexual sin to taint his ministry or his legacy.
I do want to say—that my husband and I have done some simple things to guard ourselves from sexual sin. We share email addresses, and social media pages. We do not have correspondence with anyone that the other is not privy to that correspondence. If I wanted to look at his phone, I could, and he could look at my phone at any time.
We also, don’t have friends of the opposite sex. We have couple friends, where we spend time as a couple with those friends. The purpose of this is not to form emotional attachments with the opposite sex, apart from the attachments we have as a couple with those persons. (We do have friends of the same sex—I have women friends, and my husband has men friends.)
These are suggestions that may not work with everyone’s situation. The point of these suggestions is accountability and transparency.
One thing I have become more aware of—is the magnitude of what Jesus did on the cross for us. Jesus literally took on all the sins of the world, and those sins were crucified. Ugh!! Think about this. I have heard that Jesus died for my sins, since infancy. I have heard Jesus died for the sins of the world, ever since I can remember. So, I don’t always think about what that means.
Jesus died for every imaginable evil act and thought, (our sin begins in our thoughts—Jesus said those who look at someone other than their spouse, and think lustful thoughts have committed adultery).
Jesus died for the men and women cheating on their spouses and breaking up their families. Jesus died for the people abusing others sexually. Jesus died for all the abusers—those beating others, those stealing others and selling them into slavery, those verbally assaulting others, those murdering others. Jesus died for those addicted to drugs and alcohol, and possibly abusing others in the process. Jesus died for the thieves, the greedy, the manipulative, the liars, the selfish and the self-centered, the power hungry, the control-freaks, the sexual deviants, the war-mongers, the haters, the rapists, the racists, the (whatever your hot button issue is–the people you don’t think deserve to live)—Jesus died for them. Jesus died for you. Jesus died for me.
Jesus died for the things that deserve God’s wrath, in fact, God’s wrath was poured out on Jesus on the cross.
Scripture tells us that maybe someone would die for a friend, or a righteous man, but Jesus died for us when we were sinners, and enemies of God. He died to free us and redeem us—to pay the price for our souls and take us from Satan’s grasp.
The question is: do we want to be freed? And do we want to stay free? We need to be aware: Satan will try to ruin our lives and make us believe that sin still has power over us when in reality– sin has been crucified with Christ. So, remember—
FLEE Temptation……PURSUE Righteousness……ALONG WITH Others who are doing the same thing!!
And Be Encouraged!!