I’ve had something on my heart for a while now. I see so much debate among Christians about whether or not xyz is a sin, or if it’s allowed, and if so, how much…
- Is it really a sin to watch an unwholesome TV show? Is it a sin to read unsavory books (such as 50 shades of gray)
- In dating relationships, how far is “too far”?
- If you’re drinking, how much is “okay”?
And on and on the list goes until we are so divided that we can’t agree on anything. And the problem remains. The argument is usually “the Bible doesn’t really say that’s a sin, so under grace we should be able to do it.”
A Cheap Imitation
Too often, we seem to be chasing after a cheap imitation of the world. In nearly every instance where the subject of sin comes up, the goal seems to be to get AsCloseAsPossible to sin, without actually sinning. The problem here is that our focus, our desire is still on the sin. We feel deprived without it. We’re bothered by the fact that we can’t have it. We want to get as close to it as possible. That is not evidence of a changed heart.
I heard the theme song from the Grinch movie recently, and this line struck me, “I wouldn’t touch you with a 39 1/2 ft. pole.” The Grinch was a mean, bad character and the author/singer didn’t want anything to do with him.
Sin is bad, people. It’s so bad that Jesus Christ came to DIE so that we could be freed from it’s clutches!
Why do we want to flirt with it?! We should be saying “I wouldn’t touch you with a 39 1/2 ft. pole,” but instead we are courting it. We are holding 1/4 inch sticks in our hands and hoping we can manage to not get burned by the sin we are so attracted to.
We say things like “We don’t want to be legalistic. We are under grace, not the law, so we can do what we want.” We cheapen God’s grace to serve our own pleasures and desires. James says we are drawn away by our own desires. And we justify them in any way we can. We believe God’s grace is powerful enough to forgive us, but not enough to change us.
But in reality, that’s what Jesus says He will do. We’ve all heard the often-quoted verse, “the truth will set you free.” But what truth? What are you free from?
The Jews said they’d never been in bondage, so how could they be made free? Some of us might be thinking the same thing. As Americans, we live in a “free” country. What do we need set free from? Jesus goes on to explain:
Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36)
Jesus died to give us freedom from the bondage of sin! We cannot earn our salvation, and I am so thankful for God’s grace and mercy. But, we are called to holiness, and to be imitators of Him, not the world.
In the end, we are left with a cheap faith. One that doesn’t change us like God’s word says a true faith will. One that doesn’t fulfill us. One that makes it nearly impossible to witness, because all we have to offer is a cheap imitation of the world and why would anyone want that when they can have the real thing?
Jesus Christ offers far more than a cheap imitation of the world. But we have to let go. We have to let go of trying so hard to be just like the world that we’re just left unfulfilled because we have nothing.
What if we changed our question around? What if we changed our focus around and instead of asking, “Is this a sin?”…what if we started asking “Is this glorifying to God?” I think a lot of our questions would be easier to answer that way.
What if we truly sought to let go of this world, and instead grasp on to the Lord and His holiness and hunger for that instead of some kind of “fun” that we think we’re missing out on.