What do you do after the fall?
The last week of my life has been a bit of a whirlwind. My own choices have caused myself and those around me a large amount of pain and confusion. My own failings have reminded me of my own words. It’s interesting how so much of my preaching I’ve discovered is either preaching from my past self, to my present self, or to a future self.
So, I find myself now reflecting on my past teaching, and discovering all the clarity I wish I would have had on the front end.
After the Fall
#1 | Sin Makes You Stupid
9 “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things,
and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?
Jeremiah 17 (NLT)
All of us have an incredible ability to discern where other people’s bad choices will take them.
- We all know of friends that started dating someone that we knew was a poor choice.
- We all know someone married who made choices which clearly were headed towards an affair.
- We all know someone who made reckless financial choices where everyone knew where it was headed.
But somehow, we all find ourselves blind to our own sins. We find ourselves blind to our own weaknesses. We find ourselves clueless to the foolish paths we’re on.
We don’t see our own faults in the mirror. The reason is simple, sin makes us stupid, and the heart is deceitful.
In recent times, my heart has certainly deceived me.
#2 | Sin Grows in Secret
17 As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27 (New Living Translation)
We are meant to live in community, and with confession. When we live with secrets, we fail to enjoy all the benefits of community. When we fail to confess, we carry burdens we’re meant to share.
Without real community, iron can’t sharpen iron, and without confession, others can’t beat the dents out of your soul.
On a practical note, our sinful nature always desires more. When you get away with something in secret, the deceitful sin nature will convince you that is a reason to keep going. Eventually, you find yourself somewhere you don’t want to be, and there’s only painful ways out.
I do not know the original source of this quote, but it certainly rings true:
Sin takes you further than you want to go,
keeps you longer than you want to stay,
and costs you more than you want to pay.
#3 | Sin Hurts Everyone Around You
From the very first sin recorded in Genesis 3, sin has always affected more than the person committing it.
Sin is both rebellion against God and acting against the natural order that God intended. Therefore, any sin brings damage into the world.
- Sin in a family damages the family.
- Sinful thinking damages you and your actions.
- Sin in the church hurts His Bride.
Stepping Up From the Fall
Whereas the darkness causes sin and pain to grow, the light brings redemption.
#1 | The Light Makes Sins Look Really Stupid
As a youth pastor, I spent years teaching students about the power of retreats.
- When they’re away from their favorite sins, suddenly they see clearly.
- When they’re in musical worship and prayer regularly, they see clearly.
- When they’re in the Bible daily, they see clearly.
- When they’re hearing the Word taught twice per day, they see clearly.
They’re in the light, and in the light the small things of this world look very small. The petty squabbles seem even pettier. The appeal of sin doesn’t seem so tempting. When you’re in the light, you can see sin for what it is. It’s foolishness.
When you realize your foolishness, the hard part is realizing the fool you’ve been.
#2 | Sin Shrinks in the Light
11 Take no part in the worthless deeds of evil and darkness; instead, expose them. 12 It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. 13 But their evil intentions will be exposed when the light shines on them, 14 for the light makes everything visible. This is why it is said,
“Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead,
and Christ will give you light.”
If sin grows in the dark, conversely, it shrinks in the light. When our sin is in the open we have accountability and freedom. Our secrets creates all the atmospheres which cause it to spread whereas the light creates all the environments for support.
#3 | In the Light is Grace
6 And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say,
“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
When we step into the light with our sin, we choose to humble ourselves and receive grace but, when we stay in the dark, we set ourselves up for God to oppose us…or to humble us.
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
2 Corinthians 12
The strength to overcome weakness comes through God’s grace, and God’s grace is activated through humility.
Whatever your sin is…wherever you struggle…humble yourself in that area and access God’s grace to overcome it. You can’t do it on your own, and the consequences of keeping it secret aren’t worth it. The freedom of God’s grace is far better.
In light of recent events, I don’t think I’ll be writing on this blog for a while (which isn’t saying much since my last update was about six months ago), but I do plan on writing on another blog that I’m starting. Hopefully with my new free time I’ll be able to get more time for writing.