I wrote a blog to this affect years ago, but it was on MySpace, and I have long since forgotten my MySpace user ID and password. I thought the content somewhat important, so I thought I would offer it again.
In the world of Christianity, sin is often a topic of discussion. It is something we are taught to avoid, to condemn, to flee from. Many of our sermons and Sunday school classes are about how to keep from sinning or various types of sin. Actually, I am quite certain I have heard far more about sin than topics such as grace, peace, hope, or even love.
So a couple of years ago I made a startling revelation. We spend our lives fighting off sin, and yet it is a struggle for us constantly. We spend time in condemnation and wrestle with little to no success overcoming many of our deepest sins. But what if sin isn’t actually our problem? And if sin isn’t the problem, what is?
To start, I’ll give an example. Lets say I get headaches everyday. (Headaches represent sin in this story) I can take medication or various measures to rid myself of the headache, but it only seems to come back. Why? Because the headache is a symptom of a bigger problem. By only addressing the headache, the underlying problem remains. At best, I can only mask the headache.
Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit. I had always strived to show the fruit of the Spirit in my life, but often failed. I could pretend, but it often wasn’t really there. Then I realized, apple trees don’t strive to create apples. If an apple tree fails to make apples, it is because the tree is sick or it has a broken relationship with the earth. So not making apples isn’t the problem, it simply lets you know there is a bigger problem.
The point here is that sin is something we can use to measure ourselves. If we are struggling with sin (which we all will) it is because there is something broken in us or our relationship with God. All of our striving to stop sinning can’t fix that. We have a long list of publicly humiliated ministers to prove that.
We need to find the problem, root it out, and deal with it. In the case of the headaches, the problem may be a cancerous tumor. By ignoring it and treating the headaches, the cancer only gets worse. The same applies to sin. By simply striving harder and not dealing with the cause, the cause continues to grow and get worse.
So the next time you find yourself struggling with sin, refocus your attention. What is broken that is causing the sin? Root it out and deal with it and the sin will die off.