Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sin--It's Not Just Evil Anymore

Murder. Adultery. Lies. ---Sin.
I recognize them.  They are evil.  All of them.
God says not to do them.  I get it, and generally, do pretty well at it.
But somehow, in the niggling back of my mind, I knew I wasn't done.

Christ showed me why.
He did it in the desert.  Alone, hungry, weak, and bedeviled:
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.--Matthew 4:1
And how did the Master Tempter beguile Him?
...tell these stones to become bread.
...thrown yourself down.
...all this I will give you.--Matthew 4:4,6,9

Satan tempted Jesus with food, with rescue, and with the power He already possessed.  By itself, none of these things were bad.  Christ, in another situation at another time, could have reached out and taken any one of them without sin. 
But not then.  Not there.

And so it is for us.
Sin does not come only in the footsteps of evil deeds like murder or deception or betrayal.
It comes at the dinner table, at our desk, in our bed.
In perfectly innocent-sounding activities, but ones God has forbidden in that place and time.

We fast by God's command and forsaking a fast is sin.
That donut, or that nap, or that good-looking charitable activity, is not evil by itself, but today, it might be sin.
Even Jesus had to look at something He wanted in His flesh, something He might have the next day or the one after that but right then, He, like we, had to look it in the eye and say,
Away from me, Satan!--Matthew 4:10

The beauty of all this comes when we look away from the thing dangling before us, that temptation, and see what God wanted us to see in the first place, the whole point of the exercise:

And, after we have seen, He sends His angels to minster to us.

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