A year ago I decided to take my weight gain seriously. My middle-aged hormones were wreaking havoc on my body. I had gained 35 pounds. And I was two months away from my daughter’s wedding. God wants us to take care of ourselves. 1 Corinthians 6 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?” And so, along with the help of a weight loss app I finally decided to really do something about it. I was diligent. By the time my daughter’s wedding came around the dress that I had tailored a few weeks prior didn’t really fit me – it hung loosely in a number of places. About six months in I was 10 pounds away from my goal weight and decided I didn’t need the app anymore. Around that same time the Covid19 crisis struck. And here I am another seven months later with 15 pounds to lose. You got that – I, of course, gained more weight. So, at lunch today I sat across from my friend who also tries to watch her weight. I told her about a great dish the restaurant has that is low calorie. I knew exactly what to order and what not to order. And as the waitress took our order, I did exactly what I shouldn’t. I gave into my cravings. Not only that, I convinced my friend to do the same.
One of my favorite verses from the Bible is quite the tongue twister. When I heard a young pastor speak on these verses he could barely get it out without laughing.
And the do’s keep going for four more verses! James makes it a lot clearer:
We’ve probably all been there with the diet issue. But how many times do we not do what we know we should do? For some of us that might be every, single day. Sinning is our very nature. We Christians have allowed other people to use the word “sin” against us. They say it makes us judgmental. It makes us hypocrites. It shows we don’t love people. But sin is everyone’s nature – whether you are a Christian or not. You can thank Adam and Eve for that. Unlike atheists, Christians just recognize that we are sinning. But the enemy wants us to be prideful and say we don’t sin – it’s those “other people.” Throughout our day we need to recognize our sinful behavior and ask God for forgiveness. When I blame someone else for “making me upset” or I accuse others of “doing worse than me” that’s pride shining through. It also gives us cover to do the exact same thing over and over. Sinning make take the form of fear over faith, worry, improper thoughts, shame or gossip.
My daily sin is being impatient and annoyed with people. I know not to do it. But I do it. Sometimes I’m so caught up in my excuses I forget to take a moment and ask for that forgiveness – to ask for that strength not to do it again. But I had a recent revelation. I was living in transgression. That, my friends, is a sin that is done over and over for a hidden reason. After one of my prayers of forgiveness Jesus shined a light on it. My lack of humility. It was the root of my everyday sinning. I was making excuses and hiding it. And until I realized, it there was no chance of me stopping my bad behavior.
You see all the accusers of this woman about to be stoned were hiding their sins, trying to sell everyone on their pious lives. But you really can’t hide from Jesus. Satan loves when we try to hide our sins. I’ve been telling my Bible Study Girls lately that living like that creates a visual of a dark, scribbly mass living inside of us – creating chaos and hatred and all things ugly. We have a hard time doing the right things for the right reason when we live with transgressions.
And then we have iniquities – where those transgressions become a bondage to our transgressions. It drives us to repeatedly and continually commit sin. It perverts all our good intentions. For example, my sin of being annoyed with cashiers. When I do it time and again it becomes about a lack of grace, love and humility on my part (transgression). If I don’t repent and ask God to help this sin can move into an iniquity – where I actually hate cashiers. I might even call them names, or think of them as lowly people for doing such “menial” jobs. It becomes a soul crusher. And satan dances.
Because, as Christians, we make it a point to live with the mind of Christ and the knowledge of God’s Word, we know what “doing good” means. We can choose to give to the poor. Or we can choose to ignore God’s call to help the needy. And in doing so we sin. And if we consistently withhold God’s treasure from His people our sin transforms into transgression – maybe a fear of losing money, a fear of not having enough money. And those constant hidden thoughts about money may lead to an iniquity – greed, hatefulness to the needy, miserly behavior. And none of those creates a loving mind and heart.
Why do we not do what we know we ought to do? Because we have a sinful nature. We want what we want, and we want it now. The closer we try to live next to Jesus and the more we fill our minds and hearts with God, the harder it is to allow room for those sins to become soul killers.
God knows His children. He knows we need constant correction. Let’s just try to keep our lives on the slightly wandering path rather than taking the full off-ramp. Ask God right now to reveal any hidden sins in you — anything that you need to recognize that negatively motivates your behavior. He loves you and will gladly honor your request in a way that He knows you need. Don’t be afraid. Just ask. And then do what He tells you.