Why is sin so deadly (and why do we need to GIVE UP our vices)?
Did you see that Brad Pitt–Morgan Freeman movie “Seven?” I don’t want to leave out the other star – Kevin Spacey. Pretty freaky. Very disturbing. Engaging movie. Amazing example of how selfish living can consume all of us, even eat us alive. It is the story of “a retiring detective (Morgan Freeman) and his replacement (Brad Pitt) jointly investigating a series of ritualistic murders inspired by the seven deadly sins” (from wikipedia). Don’t watch it unless you just happen to dig thriller type of mysteries that have a very evil bent.
The seven deadly sins? I am sure you have heard of them. Another wikipedia clip:
The Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the Capital Vices or Cardinal Sins, is a classification of the most objectionable vices that has been used since early Christian times to educate and instruct followers concerning (immoral) fallen humanity’s tendency to sin. The final version of the list consists of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony. (wikipedia)
The Catholic church, in particular, has emphasized these. They have even made a “sin scale” of sorts, ranking which sins are “deadly” and which require more of a slap on the wrist. There is actually nowhere in the Scriptures that call these the seven deadly sins. However, there are a few verses in Proverbs 6 that describe seven things God hates. Check it out:
16 There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, 18 a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, 19 a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.
One might ask, why are these so deadly? Before we answer that, I want to suggest that not just these 7 are deadly. All sin is deadly. Paul wrote in Romans 6:
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
In Tuesday’s devo (devo 1 of week 3), you may have read:
Sin leads to death because it is a selfish choice to walk away from the source of life.
Those seven things listed by Solomon in Proverbs 6, along with all other choices to live for self and thus sin, are detested by God. They all lead to death, because they are a choice to not listen to and obey the Life-Giver.
Humanity acts inhumane (to live in a way that is not how we were intended to live and intended to love) when we live only for self. And Romans 3:23 says all of us are guilty of inhumane living, selfishness, and sin. We are being consumed by the very desires that consume us. We are being eaten alive by the very hungers of our indulgences.
The temptation to live for self and to therefore sin is driven by a deadly hunger. Much like the hunger of a spider who becomes consumed with the need to get his groove on with a female spider, who then consumes the male spider in the midst of his self-consuming desires (the black widow). Or like the way eskimos used to hunt for wolves back in the day. They stuck a knife into a piece of meat, froze it, and then left it out along the path where packs of wolves would travel. The wolf came along and began to lick the steak. Because it was frozen, their tongue would become numb and unaware when the licking shifted from steak to knife. They indulged themselves to death.
Sort of offers us some insight into the tricks of the evil one. Jesus tried to make us aware of how the evil one wants to destroy us by what He said in John 10:
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
The evil one is a thief and a liar. Here are just 3 of the BIG LIES he tries to convince us of, especially in the moment of indulgent temptation.
- YOU REALLY WON’T DIE. IT WILL ACTUALLY MAKE LIFE RIGHT NOW BETTER.
- YOU DESERVE THIS.
- FEEDING YOU FEELS SO MUCH BETTER THAN GIVING LOVE. GIVING LOVE IS TOO RISKY ANYWAY, AND DOESN’T GUARANTEE YOU GET YOURS BACK IN RETURN.
Read Proverbs 6:16–33. See what Solomon is warning his own sons about.
When we don’t deny ourself and instead let our hunger become indulgent, gluttonous living, then we not only consume indulgently things that end up destroying our own lives, we consume indulgently other people. We live so selfishly that we end up cannibalizing life from the people we should be loving around us.
Peter (1st Peter 5) described the evil one as a lion out to devour us. Have we dropped our guard so much, gotten so drunk on our indulgent hungers, that we have forgotten how deadly selfishness is? Are we inviting the lion over for dinner, even though already aware that he will dine on us?
PRAY_Lord, I confess my selfish living to You. Expose to me the choices I am making that hinder me from walking in love with You, listening with a hunger to say yes, and then obeying and giving love as I experience Yours. Please help me to be more and more aware of Your presence with me when faced with temptations. May I not ignore you in favor of indulging myself.
LIVE_When faced with temptation, STOP, DROP, and ROLL. Stop what you are doing so that you can think clearly. Drop to your knees (figuratively or literally) and pray, begging God for help in that moment and for a full awareness of His presence with you. Then roll in His ways instead of your own.
27 Can you build a fire in your lap and not burn your pants? (Proverbs 6:27)
Think about it.
NEXT DEVO SATURDAY_eating Jesus.