If we aren’t careful sin can create some very heavy burdens in our life. The world paints a completely opposite picture. There, things such as alcohol, drugs, and sex are yours for the taking, and you should take whatever you want and how ever much you want. Right and wrong have vanished with the “as long as you aren’t hurting anyone” mantra. Let’s get this straight: Everything you do has a direct effect on someone, somewhere.
Recently, someone blasted me on my views, mainly my opposition towards abortion, and they called me self-righteous and went on to remind me of my past sins. I had to pray, because the berating could have easily angered me. Then, I was reminded of two things.
First, the mercy of God
I am astonished, amazed, and flabbergasted at the mercy of God. There was a time when I lived a very careless life. Sadly, the person berating me was right. I was the worst sinner a few years back. I had done every sin in the Book, except murder, which God says hating a brother or sister is murder. So, I guess I had failed at that too.
But thank God, He was gracious and merciful with me. He looked past my sins and saw someone He could use for His glory. I am nothing. I am aware of this, but through Christ I have strength to be anything He desires for me to be. Christ did not have to pursue me like He did. He could’ve walked away and never gave it another thought, but He didn’t. That’s how much he loves me. That’s how much He loves you. He will never give up on you! There is not a sin great enough to keep his mercy from being extended.
Secondly, the burden of sin.
That’s the thing about sin, your sin does effect others in unexplainable ways. That person, who shall remain nameless, has not only a bad opinion of me, but probably of God too. They are only able to see my sins; I am an unable to explain to them how God changed all that.
The world likes to make sin look so good. It is very inciting. However, freedom to chose to do whatever you want to do is not freedom. Actually, it’s slavery. I know for a fact, that when I was living as I pleased, trying to gratify the “lusts of the flesh”, I was angry, bitter, and hateful. I was a selfish liar, putrid, really. And how was this not effecting anyone around me? I didn’t even realize it at the time, but I was so burdened down by the weight of my own sin: guilt, fear, sorrow, that the bondage was getting to me and I was becoming a very horrible person. I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I needed a burden-lifter!
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
Freedom is in Christ alone. Accepting Christ does not ensure you that you will never have trials or that you will never be tempted again; indeed, the opposite is true. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that living a life of obedience to Christ is the greatest freedom I have ever experienced. All those “rules” are just cautionary boundaries that the Lord gives to keep us safe and under his protection. I love that fact that I don’t have to drink or party or do anything of that nature to feel happy and content. I have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and more because of my commitment to the One who showed unending mercy to save a wretch like me.
A relationship with Christ is one that keeps on giving and never runs dry. He will never fail you. He will never leave you. He won’t ever give up on you.
Why would I want to trade an unconditional love like that for any of the fleeting vices this world has to offer?
I pray that you don’t sell yourself short, either.