2008-05-14 - Favorite Sins
Psalm 4:4, "Tremble, and do not sin."
Everyone will admit that they have a favorite color, or number, or season of the year. How many of us, however, will do real business in our souls, and admit that we have a favorite sin? Is there a sin into which you know you are most prone? Is there a propensity, a drift, that your inclinations tend to wander toward, and that you know is not pleasing to the Lord? We can all admit that we have those frightful weaknesses, and if we can't, well, we have identified it already: pride. Some of us seem even resolved in our foolish favorite sins. We determine that it is not as bad, after all, as some of the other things that other people do. It is a favorite vice, or worse - a favorite secret vice. Maybe it is a spirit of unforgiveness, sloth (who talks about sloth these days - how many hours do you sit in front of the TV each week?), lying, envy - and the list can grow quickly. If the secret sin is a favorite sin, the sinner will not acknowledge it, or give it up easily. But if we would experience deep, true and meaningful communion with the Lord, our secret, our favorite sins must part company with us. We must progress in the way of the Lord, and those sins only slow, impede and halt our journey.
Who for the sake of some worthless, miserable sin would give up communion with the Lord? The wonder is that we even despise the sin itself. It leaves our conscience accusing us. Sin strips us naked of the very thing we crave: fellowship with the Almighty. Let us give up this foolishness. It is our wisdom to d o so, because it is our spiritual life that is at stake. It is our very comfort that we sacrifice, when we indulge ourselves in ourselves, because the stinger that remains is not worth the honey that we think we are getting. Favorite sins are never easy to cast aside, but they never leave us without leaving us better for leaving.
Has the love of Christ changed you? If it has, then you know the frustration of lingering sin. You can say with Paul, "The good that I wish to do, I do not do," Romans 7:19. It is our present reality, but we know we are changed in the core of who we are, if our desires have been changed. There may be a conflict within us between sin and our new inward principle, but at least there is a conflict - whereas before Christ got hold of us, there was no conflict at all. We just gave into sin. The Christian is dissatisfied with sin, and with himself/herself when they yield to sin. It is common for us to become sleepy in our Christian profession and practice, and to lose that warlike, "soldier of the cross" mentality, but we must not. When we fall asleep spiritually, sin is wide-awake. We must be ever-vigilant, and in that vigilance, we must guard most carefully against our private, favorite sins, which only demean our profession of being children of the risen, living God.
Soli Deo Gloria,