And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away….(Matt 18:9).
I’m not sure that we take sin very seriously. The effects of sin in our lives can be catastrophic, always hurting those closest to us. It’s no wonder we live with such broken relationships, hurt, pain and bitterness. Truly, we have neglected he fact that sin not only hurts us, but others.
Jesus reminds His listeners in Matthew 18 that we should take sin very seriously. He tells us this because He wants us to live lives free from turmoil, strife and broken relationships. Jesus knows that if we practice humility before others, being willing to take sin very seriously that we are giving ourselves the best possible chance to live and walk like Him.
Sometimes I think we lean into grace too much only keeping us from seeing our sin for what it is before a holy God. We forget that we must also lean into repentance. Yes, we are forgiven and yes there is grace, but that doesn’t mean we can now neglect our need to take ownership of our own sin. You see, sin works like a cancer. It starts in our thoughts, until eventually it leaks its way into our hearts where it starts to burn until we act upon it.
Whenever we act upon it, we push people out, walking all over them on our way to fill the burning desires of our hearts that have really been seared there by our lusting desire for sin. We forget to think about the holiness of a mighty God who cannot look at sin, yet somehow, by His divine grace, invites sinners to sit with Him at His table, because of the substitutionary death of Jesus.
Jesus also reminds us that if we cause one of these little ones (children) to sin that it would be better for us to have a milestone tied around our necks and be thrown into the midst of the sea. Yet, how many of us, who are raising little ones, lead them into the very same sins that have captured our hearts? In our blindness we lead them towards those things within our hearts that have taken greater residency than the love of God.
Now that I’m becoming a parent, Lord willing, very soon, I am coming face to face with this reality. That whatever I produce the most in my life will be what I produce in my child. If I am not walking in step with the Spirit, than I will lead my own child down paths of pride, selfishness, idol-worship and self-glorification. Truly, there is a great responsibility for us as Christians to live and walk like Jesus did. Not simply just for our own walks with God, but for those who are following us.
Lord, there is grace for me. Thank you for your grace for my sin, but may I never lean too much into grace and forget my need for repentance. May I be sickened by my sin and embrace you and your love for me instead. Father, please show me my sin, so that I may repent, in Jesus name, Amen.