We all know by way of personal experience that sin stinks up the life of the saints of God, but the truth that sin also shrinks the lives of God’s people may not be as readily apparent to us.
The DNA of sin is a self-absorption that causes us to shrink the size of our existence down to the size of our existence. This is exactly what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden when they sinned against God.
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:6-8)
After Adam and Eve sinned against God, they were filled with shame and tried to cover their nakedness. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they were now running from God, rather than walking with Him in the cool of the day. Instead of expanding the borders of their lives to the boundaries of God’s creation, they turned in on themselves, shrinking the borders of their lives down to the borders of their lives, which is something they were never to have done.
We have been made by God to live for the glory of God, which means we are to be living for something bigger than our own lives. Sin shrinks our commitment to God and our care for others. Sin shrinks our purpose for living down to the momentary pleasures this life offers us. Sin shrinks the lives we are living down to the size of the lives we are living; at that level of living, we really are not living at all! Living for ourselves rather than our Savior is a denial the reason for our existence . . . it is a denial of our very humanity.
So . . . where is sin shrinking your life? Where is sin shrinking your identity, meaning, purpose, and significance? If you aren’t sure, take an inventory of some of the things you have been pursuing lately. Have you been pursuing your goals . . . or God’s goals for your life? Have you been pursuing the expansion of your little kingdom . . . or God’s big kingdom?
If you have been pursuing anything smaller than Jesus, you can be sure that sin is stunting your happiness, stealing your joy, and shrinking your life. Sin shrinks our lives down to living for the creature rather than the Creator. It is only when we acknowledge this awful truth that we can begin the process of transformation.
The Bible tells us that Jesus came so that we might live an abundant life (John 10:10), the life Adam and Eve were living before their terrible descent into sin. Make no mistake, the abundant life is not a life rooted in self-protection and self-satisfaction, with self seated on the throne of life. Rather, it is a life of self-denial and self-sacrifice, with Jesus seated on the throne that expands the boundaries of our lives back to the borders of God’s creation.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!