I wonder if we really think about the possible consequences when we sin? If the sin is major we probably do, as most probably it will have consequences that naturally follow in this life.
But what about if it’s a relatively small sin that no-one else would be bothered by and doesn’t really affect us that much? Do we think about how it affects our relationship with God?
Charles Stanley said this in a sermon I was listening to the other day:
Sin always does two things:
- Sin always leads us away from God, never to Him
- Sin always hinders the work of God in our lives which ultimately is to conform us to the likeness of Jesus Christ and make us more like Him.
From Charles Stanley on ‘How to Avoid Divine Discipline’
This had a powerful effect on me as it made me remember that sin affects my relationship with God. Even though we are still forgiven and sin can ultimately lead us to God in repentance, it often first leads us down a slippery slope of discouragement, more sin, guilt, blameshifting and so on.
It also made me think about how it does hinder God’s work in my life.
When we are not in as close fellowship with Christ because of sin in our lives then we are not abiding in Christ as much, so will be less fruitful.
'As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.' John 15:4
We can also increasingly become slaves to sin. For example if I lose my self control and over-eat, then it is easier for me to do the same thing the next day, and the next and so on.
I become more and more enslaved by it which means that the fruit of the Holy Spirit of self control is less and less evident in my life.
'Do you know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?' Romans 6:16
It is good for us to think this way because we should be progressing forward and growing as Christians. We don’t want to be backsliding or stagnant. But we need to realise that if we let a little sin slide by it is hindering that growth.
I think one thing that can help with this is to ‘keep a short account with God’, which is the word for our church that my husband gave them recently.
We need to often pray that prayer, "Forgive us our trespasses", acknowledging what those sins are in true repentance so that God can purify us and help us get back on our feet again.
Part of 'Sermon Snippets' on Tuesdays
Linking up to 'Time Warp Wife', Solo Deo Gloria, On Your Heart Tuesdays