“Remind me not to eat that ever again,” were the words I said to my husband as we moaned about our belly pains. A bad run in with fast food had left both of us feeling awful and weak. After our poor dinner decision left us reeling the rest of the night, we both vowed to take a break from unhealthy food options.
But the next day, as the lunch time hunger pains grew, I started thinking less and less about the vow I had made just the night before, and more about how delicious and quick a good burger would be. I had a choice. I could go home and try to finagle a healthier lunch option, or I could have something quick, fast, and greasy just by running to a nearby fast food restaurant.
I chose the latter. I found myself turning the corner to a local fast food hub before I even really knew it. After I finished my meal, I didn’t just feel bloated and full, I felt a sense of shame. As silly as it may sound, I didn’t even make it 24 hours before I had broken my fast food vow.
No, this post isn’t about fast food. But my cheeseburger struggle had provided a great lesson for me on sin. Just as I went back to the comfort of a greasy cheeseburger, I have gone back to the comfort of the same sins over and over again. I try to repent from my sins and change my ways, only to find myself an utter failure a short time later. The shame comes and I get frustrated with myself, thinking I’ll never be able to truly change.
Maybe you’re there today too. You keep coming back to the same sin over and over again for whatever reason. Maybe because it feels good. It gives you temporary comfort or relief. Maybe it’s fast and easy. Maybe it’s easy to justify it. The list goes on.
You see, we often get results quickly (good or bad) from sin and we don’t always see the same immediate effect in our relationship with God. But we need to understand the consequence of returning to the same sin over and over again.
I expressed a strong remorse for eating unhealthy food because I felt a physical aliment from it. It was easy to spot the effect. But there are some sins that we don’t see the effect of right away. In time, they eat away at us and chip away at our core. We need to take it very seriously because these are the things that separate us from God.
God takes sin seriously. If He didn’t take it seriously, He wouldn’t have sent Jesus in our place on the cross. Take a look at this verse in Romans:
“ For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 6:23 (NLT)
It’s definitely not sugarcoated is it? “For the wages of sin is death..” It doesn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy inside. And truthfully? It shouldn’t. It should serve as a keen reminder that what I actually deserve, and what I receive from The Lord are very different things.
Here’s the beautiful thing friends, God doesn’t give us what we ultimately deserve. What we deserve is death, but what He extends to us is His grace and mercy, things we don’t deserve but things He offers us freely. And He is able to do that because of what Jesus did for us on the cross.
“Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins!
But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”
He was crushed for our sins. Beaten so we could be whole. Whipped so we could be healed. I get chills thinking about it. Jesus took it all for us so we could be made new. New. Whole. Healed. Redeemed. Aren’t those beautiful words?
I know sin isn’t fun to talk about, but it’s necessary because ultimately those are things that hinder us from a closer relationship with God. So if there is something you are struggling with, a secret sin or something preventing you from growing in your relationship with Him, know that God opens His arms to you. You don’t have to feel that shame any longer. Surrender the thing to Him and walk in His light.
Remember whose you are. Don’t buy the lie from the enemy that it’s too late to turn away and turn back to God. There is nothing He can’t handle. As Natalie Grant sings in her song Clean, “there’s nothing too dirty, that you can’t make worthy.” Whatever the enemy has meant for harm, God intends it for good (Genesis 50:20).
He loves you. He has a plan for you. He desires a close relationship with you. Will you surrender to Him today?