Today’s reading is Psalm 38.
As we learned yesterday, Psalm 38 is a huge comfort when I’ve sinned. It reminds me in no uncertain terms that I can go to God, turn my sins over to Him, and find salvation. However, I don’t know how you read it, but this psalm doesn’t cause me to say, “Oh, cool, I can sin all I want.” In fact, it makes me want to avoid sin as much as possible.
Why? Because I see from this psalm how sin impacts my relationships.
First and foremost, it puts distance between my God and me. I’m no longer walking hand in hand with Him. We aren’t facing everything together. In fact, instead of God and me taking on the world, spreading His kingdom, finding victory, God has to take a break, turn my way, and start trying to get me back on to His team. When I sin, I’m messing up my relationship with God and wasting His time and mine. We could have been accomplishing great work together, instead, it comes to a screeching halt until I get back in gear.
Second, it impacts my relationship with friends and family. Now, we can argue all day long whether the friends, companions, and nearest kin who started standing aloof were right in their response. But, be honest, even if at the end of that discussion we all agree those folks were wrong, is that going to take away the hurt and damage our sin caused the relationships? Of course not. Better to avoid the whole thing by avoiding the sin.
Third, it gives ground to my enemies. You better believe that the enemies of God’s people are on the lookout. They are looking for anything they can latch on to in order to see God’s people fall. They are sharks who smell blood in the water. When I sin, I give them reason to discredit me, reason to discredit my God, and reason for them to rejoice at my demise. I don’t want that. Do you?
Finally, it messes up my relationship with myself. I want to spend my days in joy. Sin forces me to wallow in sorrow. Sure, I had some momentary pleasure in just about every sin I’ve ever committed. But I can tell you with 100% conviction, there is not a single sin that I ever committed that I look back on now and say, “I’m glad I did that.” Not one. This idea that you’ll enjoy your sin for a while and then turn to God later and get the best of both worlds is bogus. It just isn’t true. When you realize what your sins have done, you’ll realize the best sin’s world has to offer is despair, demise, and death. You’ll wish you had avoided it. I promise you. I’ve been there, I know.
Yes, it is fantastic that God will forgive me and welcome me home as His child and not just as a servant even when I’ve gone off into the far country and spent my inheritance recklessly. But is it really getting the best of both worlds to sin for a while and then turn to God for forgiveness. Nope!
If you’re wallowing in your sin right now, turn to God. He’ll forgive you. But if you’re in God right now, don’t turn back to sin. You’ll regret it. I promise.
Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 38.
Click here to take about 15 minutes to listen to the Text Talk conversation between Andrew Roberts and Edwin Crozier sparked by this post!
Discuss the Following Questions with Your Family
- What are your initial reactions to the psalm and the written devo above?
- How have sins impacted your relationships with others?
- Why is “sowing your wild oats” and planned repentance a really, really bad idea?
- Are you a sinner who needs God’s forgiveness? If so, what sins have you committed?
- What do you think we should pray for and about in light of this psalm and our discussion today?