How can a beating cleanse?
Or blows that wound wash away evil?
Proverbs 20:30-Blows that wound cleanse away evil; beatings make clean the innermost parts.
When I read this as part of my morning devotions, my mind traced back through my life.
To times when I had friends who loved me enough to tell me the truth-even though it hurt.
That is so rare in this day. We lie; we accommodate each others sin.
We don’t want to offend.
But that’s not what God’s Word tells us- nor what we are called to do as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Pr. 27:6- Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
We sit by and watch each other trifle with sin. Play with fire.
We rationalize and excuse.
I fear other people’s reactions-maybe they fear mine.
We live in shame of our hidden sins. We live as though God does not see.
How can we fight the sin in our life when we fail to acknowledge its existence?
Romans 6:12-14, 16, 19b-23 (more powerful in context of whole passage)
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.
20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I have a habitual sin that the Lord has been convicting me about. Yet I keep trifling with it. I invite it in- make room for it- excuse its existence in my life.
What sin do you excuse? Maybe you have felt the Lord prompting you to cut it off- yet you don’t see the harm. And you like keeping it around.
What about in our friends lives? Do we have the courage to speak the truth in love to them? To see those things that keep tripping them up and love them enough to tell the truth- to wound them in love?
I read Hebrews 10 this morning as well. It is a sober reading. We must learn from the mistakes of the past- hide God’s Word in our heart and use its Truth to deflect the lies whispered to urge us to entertain sin.
Hebrews 10: 23-31
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
We are either slaves to sin or to God. When we are casual with sin- when we play around with it, we will get burned.
We may also injure those around us-when we invite sin into our daily lives- we push God away. He hates sin. He is all that is pure and lovely. He is light.
Our sin is darkness. Confession and expulsion of sin is our only recourse. To hate it as He does.
Do we fear the judgment of God?
Ponder how our sin injures Him. When we choose to accept His gift of love and yet dabble in the darkness He promised to expel from our lives through the power of His Spirit.
He wants to set us free- and we keep putting on chains.
Lord, we need you. We are blind to the sin in our lives. We have let it blend in for so long- have gotten used to its presence. Open our eyes that we may see. Give us the courage to tell the truth in love- to each other and to ourselves. To surrender to your censure. To confess our sins and to turn our backs on them. Lord, we need each other. Give us the courage to wound in love. To stop standing idly by and watch our friends be slowly destroyed by sin. So many times God, fear keeps us silent. May we be bold as we seek to be obedient to You. We excuse the sin in others because we excuse the sins in ourselves. Oh God- may we hunger for holiness. My soul feels anguished today- grieved at the pain my sin causes You. Forgive me Lord- through your power at work in my life I want to shake off this sin and run the race for You. To live in obedience to Your Will. In the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.
Linked up at the following: