From a Christian perspective the number one problem in the world is sin. But what does that mean?
If this is true should the world be worried? How do I know if sin is in my life?
It is at this point that most Christians give a pat answer as we explain all about Adam and Eve and the first sin and God’s grand design that culminates in Jesus’ victory at the cross and resurrection. But here’s the problem with that. It’s true.
It is true but not heard because it is a hard message to receive. When I tell someone they are a sinner, but they believe they are essentially good and can point to all the good things they do, it does not compute for them.
How unfair it would be, they reason, for God to have me born with original sin. Would a loving God actually have innocent babies born with sin? This doesn’t make sense.
Much of what God does, does not make sense to us Christians so how much more so for those who do not follow Christ.
When I ask most people what they see as the most pressing problems of today they often point to things like violence, division, and addictions. They rarely point to themselves and both Christians and non-Christians rarely point to sin. While violence, division, and addictions are huge issues for us, they are really symptoms of a larger problem.
Sin is not a popular topic and when it is talked about, it is in the context of they and them. For example, those drug addicts or those evil terrorists. I agree sin is involved in these issues just as it is in assaults, rapes, and thefts. There is hidden sin though that lies in our own hearts. Isn’t it easy to judge others when their lives are out of control? When a violent man hurts others it is easy to blame him. Yet our own hearts hurt others daily.
I know that most people live pretty clean lives. Most of us do not deliberately hurt others through our actions. But when we believe we are better than others and then point at our own accomplishments as proof of our own goodness, well, guess whose footsteps we are following?
And this leads me back to the question of our own sin. What if we looked inward rather than outward? In other words, instead of blaming others for their lives we looked at our own attitudes and beliefs. You see sin is not as evident in many lives as in the lives of some others.
“Search my heart, O God.” This is a scary thing to ask, yet we must ask it. To be sure the things of this world that are hurtful and evil are sinful. It is too easy to give pat answers and to distance ourselves from some real tough problems that can’t be solved with human solutions. The Bible does not point outward as much as it points inward.
Sin in the world proves that Satan is the prince of this world. Jesus said this himself in the Gospel of John (John 14:30). Like all the angels and all the humans, Satan was granted free will, so he could choose to follow God or follow his own way of thinking. He chose his own way and rebelled against his creator. And that is what sin is: rebellion against God.
Should we be worried about sin? Not at all. We ought to strive to avoid it in all its forms but Jesus conquered sin at the cross. We only have to ask him to be our Lord and then listen to his lead in changing our thoughts and beliefs and actions.
You know there is sin in your life by examining your own heart. What motivates you to do the things you do? How do you view people less fortunate than yourself? Do your thoughts or actions harm those around you? These are just some questions that will help you see the sin in your own life. Then you can deal with it through a relationship with Christ who gives you power to defeat sin.
Remember the real enemy is not other people. It is Satan, the enemy of all people. And he will try to convince us to choose sin. Sin blinds us from the truth and it is the truth that sets us free. So chose wisely. Chose the truth of Christ and deal with your own sin first.