“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” Deuteronomy 30:19-20 ESV
“Mrs. Kane, what is sin?”
One of my students asked this question in response to the question I had just posed, “Raise your hand if you have ever committed a sin.” I was a little surprised at my student’s honest inquiry, and I had to check my response. Usually 5th grade students are very familiar with sin and know they have transgressed. In thirty years of teaching, no one had ever asked me this question. What is sin? And to add another popular question, Why does God allow us to sin?
It all goes back to Eve. She did it. It’s all her fault.
I grew up hearing about original sin. Somehow the concept didn’t make sense to me. I must pay the price because of the sin of another. Scandalous . . . but isn’t that the way of all sin? Someone sins and everyone pays. Families are torn . . . relationships ruined . . . businesses crumble . . . ministries collapse . . . and innocent people pay the price.
At several points in my life, I’ve even tried to blame Eve for my own sin problem. After all, if it weren’t for Eve, I wouldn’t be in this mess (how Adam-like). But God did not let me get away with that ruse. He showed me up, called me out, made me face my sin and then, very lovingly and firmly unveiled the truth. . .
If I were Eve, I would have made the same choice.
I have made the same choice.
I have chosen sin over righteousness. Death over life. Curses over blessing.
The bottom line.
Perhaps the bottom line isn’t that God allows sin, but that God allows choice. Why? Because He loves us. But, if God loves us, wouldn’t He always make us do good?
Another valid question.
Please consider the following.
When my oldest son was a little boy, he liked to draw pictures. One day, he was unusually quiet (usually not a good sign in a little boy). When I finally clued in to the fact I hadn’t heard from Erik for several minutes, I went on a search. I found him on the floor of his room, surrounded by crayons, drawing a picture. A big grin spread across his face when he saw me enter his room. Erik asked me to come and see the picture he made for me.
Scribbly. Wrinkled. Precious. Priceless. Masterpiece.
This picture, one of my most valuable possessions, was the first thing he ever made for me of his own free will. Why did Erik make it? Because he loved me.
Now consider another very different scenario.
One afternoon, I order my son to go to his room. I tell him to get out his crayons and make me a picture. I instruct my son to stay in his room until the picture is completed. He completes the picture and hands it to me. Would the picture have the same value? Would forcing my son to create a picture for me be a loving thing to do?
God’s love language.
John 14:23 states, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
Why does God give us choice?
Because He loves us. Because forcing our behavior reduces us to robots or machines. Because choosing to obey God is proof of our love for Him. Obedience is God’s love language.
God allows sin because God allows choice. Every person from Hitler to Mussolini to Charlemagne to Mother Theresa to Billy Graham to you and me are all given the same opportunity to use our lives for good or evil. The choices we make will affect everyone around us and the generations who come behind us.
It started in a Garden. It started with a choice. It started with a sin. It ends at the cross.
Ask God today to help you over come your sin and follow Him with all your heart.
- Are you at the mercy of certain pattern of sin? Does it seem as if you can’t make any progress? Ask God to show you the behaviors or circumstances that lead you to temptation and make a change. Get rid of the TV, change jobs, throw out the magazines, get a new set of friends.
What do you need to do to start making a change?
Please answer in the comment section below. We look forward to hearing from you!
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