What is it?
I'm always challenged in my faith when I'm asked to define it. Yesterday I was studying with someone and explaining the gospel, first trying to explain sin. We all do it. Every day, every person in this world makes willingly selfish and stupid decisions, including myself. And in the end sin, our own choices, kills us. We're committing suicide on our own well-being every single day.
Why? When you get to the heart of it sin is just us trusting ourselves rather than our Creator. Nobody ever really thinks this drug will hurt anybody, or that they didn't have the right to be angry that one time, or that "just a little fun" is such a big deal before marriage. We always think we're right, or we wouldn't do what we do. Or at least, we think what we're doing isn't as bad as what some of those 'other people' do. God probably just wants us to be happy, right? Sure He does, but we don't really know what that means. We screw up happiness with idiocy.
It's no secret that sin kills. Ask any family torn apart by divorce, adultery, or abuse if they like it that way. Gossip, adultery, lies, lust, pride, getting drunk, hatred... it's all poison. It all destroys any chance of meaning or goodness in our lives. Yet there's this odd and quite arrogant idea within us that God wants to spoil our fun, that He just wants us to make us live by some unattainable standard for the fun of it. We act on what we personally think is best. But it never really works out, does it?
For some reason the word "righteousness" has become a bad word. I automatically have this image in my head of some self-righteous religious guy yelling at everybody on a street corner. But righteousness is goodness. Everything full of love and truth and meaning is righteous. It's good. And the word "sin" has become something laughable. A number of shows now even have it in their name, as though it's something cool. But sin is poison.
Sin is kind of like candy. It tastes really good, but in the end it gives you cavities and an upset stomach. As a kid I thought it would have been amazing to eat nothing but candy. Halloween all-year-round sounded like Heaven to me. But imagine if my parents had actually let me do that? Not only would I have been sick, I would have died. Vegetables didn't always taste good, but they gave strength to my bones, immune system, emotions, and mind.
Every day each of us drinks the poison of sin. It looks so good at first. And it's so easy. I guess that's the catch of it all, isn't it? At the time it seems more appealing and fun to sin than to do good. We're all addicted to poison, and on top of that... we love it. We're addicted to the very thing that kills us.
In the end the key to doing good is trusting God. Do I really believe Him when He says he came to bring life to the fullest? What about when that means turning the tv off to something everyone else thinks is harmless? What about when righteousness makes me look stupid? What if it really doesn't seem so bad as that Bible makes it out to be? It's at those times that "trusting God" has to become more than something we sing about on Sundays. It's more than some theoretical belief about a God far away and some man named Jesus. I'm hit with choices every day where I decide if I really do trust God like I say I do... or I don't.
I pray that morality would become more than just do's and don'ts to us. I pray that when our own selfish desires come rushing on us during the day we would see it for what it is: an issue of faith.
3 days ago