Release from Self-condemnation

Devotions for those who are weary of feeling not good enough, regardless of the source of those feelings.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Release Hidden Sin

Day 80

  Release Hidden Sin

A litmus test of whether we have turned from sin is how we treat others. Obedience to God places our words and actions toward others under the influence of God’s love.

ne of Satan’s most damaging lies tells us that hidden sin has no impact upon those we love. By contrast, the Bible teaches that we show our love for God through obedience to Him, thus, acts of obedience that are seemingly unrelated to our interactions with other human beings allow relationships to grow in the light of this love we have shown for God.

The idea that sins committed out of sight won’t damage relationships ignores an insidious effect of wrongdoing; we feel hatred toward people whose acts are righteous when our own are sinful. This is the destruction that kills love for others: we burn with resentful anger toward those whose goodness sheds light on our secret sins. Disobedience destroys not only our love for God, but also relationships with those closest to us. We rationalize our sin by telling ourselves that God understands and that others won’t be hurt. Neither of these premises is true; God does not lend His understanding to the perpetuation of sin that sent His Son to Calvary, and disobedience to God develops a well of self-hatred that, left unchecked, grows to murderous resentment toward others. 

Once we have blocked relationship with God through disobedience, we turn to those closest to us for the satisfaction of our needs, but when we hold another human being responsible for our emotional well being, we empower that person in a way that is unhealthy for both parties. Everyone knows the best way to handle a bully is to ignore him; the child who is most likely to be bullied is the one who cries, not the one who smiles and looks the other way. We do our loved ones a disservice and encourage bullying behavior if we carry on in a childlike way when our tender feelings are hurt. 

2 John, chapter 1 says, "And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.  And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments…"[i]

We aren't to spend time analyzing the sins of others; we are to look to our own obedience. If I am prayerfully considering how I can avoid sin, edify others, and keep my focus on Jesus, I don't have time to examine the state of my own heart and the import of others' words and actions relative to me.  

A change of perspective occurs when we pray: "Lord, help me to remember the ways You have shown Your love to me today." This effectively shifts our thoughts from the wrongs we've been dealt by other human beings to the blessings we've been given by the Lord.  

When we want others to prove their love to us by their subservience, we have fallen to the deception that human love is the manna we need to survive. We are to obey the Lord and love other people; this formula protects us from the sting of human rejection and opens our hearts to receive a fully satisfying measure of the love that is ours through Christ. 

Pray:   Lord, please free me from the deception that my hidden sin doesn’t hurt anyone else. Shed Your light on the deepest recesses of my heart and lead me gently to repentance for the sins You reveal. By Your mercy Lord, grant me humility, but protect me from humiliation as You strengthen me to acknowledge and confess the sins I’ve committed against You. Increase my faith so that I believe in and know more of Your love for me. As I thrill to the fact of Your great love, let my heart respond with increased love for You. Then Lord, please help me to obey out of love for You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, amen.

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
    and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalm 139:23-24 NLT

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
John 13:34-35

[i] 2 John 1:5-6

No comments:

Post a Comment