The story of Lance Armstrong’s fall should not surprise us. Fundamentally, it is a story about a struggle against sin. Though the details change from person to person, his story is an old one and is often repeated.
Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve in the garden. To greatly simplify how the events of the “original sin” unfolded, it went something like this: they saw the fruit, they wanted the fruit, they took the fruit, and then they desperately tried to hide the fact that they had taken the fruit.
That’s how the story of sin goes… we see, we want, we take, we hide. None of us escapes it.
As we wrestle with sin in our own lives, we would do well to keep these five things in mind:
1. Sin is Alluring
We all know that when sin begins to draw us in, we’re not exactly thinking straight. We might know something’s wrong, but sin whispers in our ear until we find a way to rationalize and justify our actions (James 1:14-15).
2. Sin is Never Secret
We would like to think that we can keep things hidden, but sin has a remarkable way of being uncovered and discovered. It’s better to just assume that it will. Even ‘secret’ sins will not remain secret forever (Luke 12:2-3, 1 Cor. 4:5).
3. Sin Affects Self
Sin carries a heavy burden. It causes separation in our relationship with God. We miss out on God’s presence and power in our lives. It traps us in guilt and shame and immobilizes us from ministry. It numbs our hearts, steals our joy, and robs us of abundant life.
4. Sin Affects Others
My sin cannot be isolated from you and your sin cannot be isolated from me. There is always a direct and/or indirect effect of our sin on others. Alexander Maclaren says it well, “… no man’s sin terminates in himself.”
5. Sin Has a Solution
Jesus went to the cross to rescue us from our sin. His grace is amazing because he offers us the forgiveness none of us deserve. He lovingly fixes, redeems and restores everything we made a mess and “makes all things new.”
What other lessons have you seen or learned about our shared struggle with sin?