Treat The Disease Not The Symptoms; The Cure Is Jesus
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.)