I try to put it out of my mind because the thought is so unpleasant, but sin really stinks. If there were ever a legitimate reason for coarse language, for colorful metaphor, for cussing or cursing it would be in trying to describe precisely how much sin stinks. It rips apart families. It grinds up relationships. It may bring pleasure for a moment, but its byproduct is a putrid excretion that permanently and indiscriminately poisons every person who comes in contact with it. Sin has no concern for collateral damage.
I once heard someone describe the back alley of an AIDS clinic in Africa. They had no concern for the proper disposal of medical waste. The dumpster behind the clinic was filled to overflowing with exposed needles, blood-soaked bandages and the unclean remnants of the vilest of human conditions. The suffering of the African people in that town knew no bounds. AIDS was not the only epidemic. Hunger took as many lives as did the disease. In their hunger, in their desperation, people of that community would dig through the waste of those dumpsters looking for even a morsel to eat and to feed their children. As disgusting as that scene is, it cannot compare to the unmitigated filth that rots in the soul of a sinner.
We are sick indeed. Sin is viral. Sin is deceptive. Sin is insatiable. Sin is insidious. It is capable of convincing a man that wrong is right and right is wrong. Sin can twist the most noble of motives into the most hideous of actions. The infected spread the disease. The afflicted flaunt the disease, all the while believing a lie.
Paul described sins deceitful nature, “…the trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. But if I do what I don’t want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am!” Romans 7:14 – 24 (NLT)
Sins greatest victory is in convincing us that we can overcome on our own. Sin wants us to believe that we can simply turn over a new leaf. But every time we do we only find old dirt. Sin delights in the delusion that we are self-directed and self-corrective.
If the sickness is within us the solution must be without us. Hear Paul’s words, “Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Jesus Christ. And because you belong to Him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.” Romans 7:24 – 8:2 (NLT)
Stop fooling yourself and face the sin within you. Stop thinking you’re smart enough, strong enough or devout enough to overcome sin on your own. Seek God’s forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ. Stand in the strength that comes from knowing Him. Walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Your own heart deceives you, don’t trust it. Your own mind confuses you. Find clarity in Scripture. Your own actions convict you. Receive the pardon prepared for you on the cross of Calvary.
Recognize this truth.
God loves people. Sin hurts people. Jesus died for your sin and rose from the dead. That’s why you can be forgiven.
Sin stinks. Jesus saves. Surrender today.