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Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why Do We Keep Sinning?

I sat at a red light yesterday when I notice that the guy in the right turn lane next to me was honking his horn and yelling at the lady in the car in front of him. She could have turned "right on red" but chose not to. Nothing obligated her to turn. The guy next to me was trying to become an obligation. Actually, he was a real jerk. When she finally turned and he passed by I noticed that he had a bumper sticker which reminded people to pray.

Bumper stickers don't make you a Christian but I thought he must have some motivation for putting this on his car. I wondered if he was a Christian who somehow forgets his commitment to Christ when he gets behind the wheel of a car. I'll bet he would tell me that his attitude and actions were not a good Christian testimony if he saw it in someone else.

Before I throw any more rocks at this guy, I have to ask the obvious question about myself: I know what sin is. I know that I have made a commitment to Christ to be different from the world. Why do I keep sinning in the face of what I know?

I am selfish. No matter how altruistic I appear I know that down deep I am selfish. I want to be noticed when I do something good. I want to receive something for any work I do. I want things that will make me feel good but may not be good for me. I want, I want I want.

I am full of pride. I despise others receiving things that I believe I should have had. I think they are not as good as me. They don't deserve what I should have received. I dislike it when people cannot remember my name. I dislike it when they don't pay attention to me. I think I am so important.

I am impatient. My own self importance means that traffic should part for me. Others should just pull their vehicles off the road so that I can pass. Those in line ahead of me at the bank need to put me right at the front. My time is more valuable than anyone else's.

I am vengeful. I want to extract a pound of flesh whenever I am wronged. I will do so by gossip or merely not telling the person who has offended me about the pitfalls down the road. They should get what is coming to them and I will be the agent who delivers it. I will try to get as many people as I can to dislike this person who has offended me. Forgiveness is just not in my nature.

I could name a lot of things that I am naturally but Christ came to live in my life so that I would no longer have selfishness, pride, impatience, unforgiveness, hatred and bitterness rule my life. I have got to learn that I can overcome these things only by Christ who lives within me. I must know that I will continue in these things if I don't spend time with Christ and other godly people. Victory will be contingent upon my continuance in obedience to God's Word.

Plainly put: I am weak but He is strong. My only hope of living a God pleasing life is depending on Him living my life for me. This takes things that Americans don't do much any more. This takes meditation on His word. It takes genuine prayer. It takes taking time out of your day to acknowledge that He is Lord of the day. It takes surrender from my own self importance to realize the worm I am so that I can see His majesty.

Will I become sinless? I am too far away from that idea to assume it is possible. I am afraid that my sinless moments often become points of pride. I should lose myself in His presence rather than try to measure my sinless moments.

Honestly, that guy yelling at the lady could have been me. This time it wasn't. If Christ is truly my Lord, I will live differently.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Be different on purpose... Try your hardest... Regardless... Or keep telling yourself that. And just try...

missionchik said...

Thank you so much for sharing out of your heart and godly wisdom. I needed it!