Treat The Dis­ease Not The Symp­toms; The Cure Is Je­sus

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - CHURCH - Troy Con­rad PAS­TOR TROY CON­RAD IS MIN­IS­TER OF FARM­ING­TON UNITED METHODIST CHURCH. EMAIL: FARMINGTONCHURCH@PGTC.COM.

Lord, where I am wrong, make me will­ing to change; where I am right, make me easy to live with.

“Hum­ble your­selves, there­fore, un­der God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” 1 Peter 5:6

Not too long ago, I was teach­ing a group of stu­dents about the na­ture of sin and how it af­fects our re­la­tion­ship with God and each other. One of the kids asked me what would be the best way not to sin. (Oh the ques­tions chil­dren ask!)

I told them that we should keep the com­mand­ments that God has for us. I then asked them what was the com­mand­ment that Je­sus gave us and they an­swered in uni­son, “To love God and our neigh­bor!” Then I asked them to talk about the Ten Com­mand­ments. They could name most of them, but while we were go­ing through the list one of the kids threw her arms up in the air and said in a dra­matic voice, “Be­ing a kid is just too tough!”

I thought it was funny and asked her why she said that. She replied, “Be­cause peo­ple are al­ways telling us what to do! My mom says to do this. My dad says to do that. My teacher tells me to read this and my lit­tle brother tells on me if I don’t! And now you’re telling me that God has a list of things I’m not sup­posed to do! My lit­tle brother is go­ing to have fun with that!”

It was a funny mo­ment in min­istry, but il­lus­trates for me why most adults don’t un­der­stand God’s grace. It’s be­cause they think that sin is an act that we com­mit. They look at the “shalt nots” and think the Bi­ble is a rule book and if you break the rules then there is no hope. And when you look at the com­mand­ments it does look like a rule book. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Yes you can do that, but only un­der th­ese cir­cum­stances. And the list goes on and on. We think that our ac­tions are the sins the Bi­ble talks about. But re­ally, our ac­tions are just a symp­tom of the dis­ease called sin.

Take for ex­am­ple the seven deadly sins of pride, greed, lust, envy, glut­tony, wrath and sloth. (An­other funny story from the kids to tell for later).

We are all guilty of be­ing proud that we’ve made our own way in life. But I’ve seen chil­dren starve be­cause the par­ents were too proud to ask for help.

We all want to have more money. But I’ve seen fam­i­lies torn apart be­cause of greed.

We all have de­sires. But I’ve seen mar­riages de­stroyed be­cause of lust.

We all want the best things in life. But I’ve seen peo­ple hurt be­cause some­one en­vied some­thing they owned.

We all want more and more, but I’ve watched peo­ple die be­cause of glut­tony

We all get mad. But I’ve seen chil­dren taken from homes be­cause of wrath.

We all want it easy. But I’ve seen teenagers put in jail be­cause of their bore­dom.

The things we do are just symp­toms of the real sin. Sin is a dis­ease that eats away at our minds and bod­ies. The Apos­tle Paul once said about sin, “For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” Ro­mans 7:15.

If you re­ally want to know what sin does, it keeps us from be­ing good peo­ple. Good to oth­ers and good to our­selves.

It’s a lit­tle some­thing called God’s grace.

The things we do are not the sin, but just the symp­toms of the dis­ease in­side of us. And the cure is Je­sus Christ.

(No mat­ter what your lit­tle brother may say.)

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