I realize this opening picture may be a bit gross, but I trust it sets up my point. Maybe you’ve heard of sprays like “Poo-Pourri before You Go Toilet Spray” that are designed to eliminate “bathroom odor before it begins” (see, I warned you it might be a bit gross. . .). What I’m really thinking about today, though, is how often we do essentially the same thing with our sin: we make it smell better in our own minds before we ever commit it. Here are some ways we do that:
- Convince ourselves nobody will know anyway. The Bible says otherwise (Heb 4:13), but we pay little attention to the Word when we’ve decided to move in a sinful direction.
- Decide our actions won’t cost us anything. We’ve gotten away with the sin in the past—so why should we worry about consequences now?
- Say to ourselves, “It’s not so bad. It could surely be worse.” To say “it could be worse” is to say, “It doesn’t smell as bad as it could.”
- Bank on the hope we can get right with God tomorrow. That is, we’ll give in to the temptation just one more time. Then, we’ll do better after that.
- Hold on to a false understanding of “once saved, always saved.” I believe 100% in the eternal security of the believer (though I realize many folks do not), but that doctrine doesn’t give us license to sin.
- Compare ourselves to others—and find ourselves to be more committed than they are. As long as we’re ahead of the game compared to other churchgoers, there’s not much reason to be too concerned about our own sin.
- Blame others for our even considering a wrong path. After all, we’re only this way because of the way our parents raised us . . . or our culture taught us . . . or our church treated us.
- Remind ourselves of all our good works rather than deal with our potential wrong. When we list multiple “good works,” one sinful choice doesn’t seem so bad.
- Buy the lies of culture that what was once considered wrong simply isn’t that wrong. By its very nature, rebellion rejects the truth and clings to lies.
What’s the point of this post? It’s not just that we “poo” our sin, but that we’ve already stepped in the wrong direction as soon as we start minimizing our potentially wrong choices. May God help us to see our sin for what it is.