For seven years my mother battled cancer, but what concerned her more was the condition of her soul. You see, my mom realized the biggest problem we face in this life is not disease or death, but sin. Sin is a spiritual cancer we need to fight. As it says in Romans 3, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God.” All are sick with sin and it is more destructive than the most aggressive disease.
“Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” – John Owen, The Mortification of Sin
When I went to counseling, I learned just how damaging sin can be. It may be easy to justify or seem fine in the moment, but sin leads to death (Rom. 6:23). The below acronym helped me see my sin for what it was. Sin:
D – damages
E – entangles
A – alienates
T – twists the truth
H – hampers growth
Sin is a terminal disease, but thankfully there is a cure and God is the Great Physician. He measures our sins (Rom. 5:20) but does not count our sins against us, because of Christ (Rom. 4:7-8).
We all have been affected by sin. Either by our own or from the sins of others, it’s just part of living in a fallen world. People sin against us all the time and we hurt people in ways we probably don’t even realize. But God is without sin. He has no secret sins waiting to be found out. God doesn’t have any skeletons in the closet. The secrets of God are only good things and bring pleasure and assurance. So we can trust Him.
I thought the purpose of my counseling was to help me heal from hurt caused by others, but counseling exposed my sin and helped me realize I am not without blame. Often we think other people are the problem without ever looking inside ourselves. We do not know our own hearts (Psalms 19:12; Jeremiah 17:9). Often I am aware of the sins of others, but blind to my own.
“[God] graciously holds up the mirror of his Word, and my heart is laid bare. I am reminded that I am fully knowable, fully known.” – Jen Wilkin, None Like Him
I used to think it was a bad thing that God knows our hearts (Psalm 139:1-6;1 Corinthians 10:13), but God truly knows when I try and understands my personal struggles in a way no one else could. God accepts me the way I am because I am in Christ. But there is no acceptance without repentance.
“We cannot create repentance where there is unrepentance, but we can cry out to the God who can.” – Jen Wilkin, None Like Him
My mother was able to rest in her cancer because she knew the bigger battle for her soul had been won. I too am no longer a slave to sin and resting in Christ. Since God has shown grace to me, I am reminded to show grace to others when they sin against me. It’s hard to watch those I love struggle or succumb to their sin, but all I can do is speak truth into their life and trust their lives are in God’s hands. Only He can change sinful hearts, including mine.
*For more encouraging thoughts by Karlie you can go to her blog: https://sowintearsdotcom.wordpress.com/