On the weekend, my grandson and I had a competition about who could keep this treacherously sour candy in his/her mouth the longest.
Phoenie won – I only lasted about two seconds – but even Phoenie has a limit.
As I watched Phoenie struggle with this terrible taste in his mouth, I saw a picture of what we, as Christians, often do with sin. Stay with me – let me explain.
When we receive Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, we are new creations – the old has gone and the new has come. (2 Corithians 5.17) In Christ, we have the power to reject what we know is wrong yet many times, we continue to justify, engage in and tolerate sin. Sometimes, when we can’t stand it anymore or more often, when our sin finds us out and exposes us for what we are, we spit it out/reject it because we desire change. Sadly, there are many times, that we continue on sinning.
The reason that Phoenie won our little sour candy eating competition is that over time, he has developed a taste for sour candy – he loves sour Patch Kids, sour sugar coated gummi bears, peach hearts and Cherry Cola Bottles, Shocker Sweet Tarts, sour gum balls and extra tart lemon drops. Phoenie’s tolerance for sourness has increased so he craves more. Maybe if he understood that the high level of citric acid in sour candy could cause inflammation and real irritation on his tongue, he would stop eating so much sour candy.
Likewise, maybe we can develop stronger convictions about sin if we were more clear on what God hates…because God does hate sin and we are to hate what God hates. I think there is a tendency to focus more on the truth that God is a God of love but He is also holy, a consuming fire and a jealous God – He loves righteousness and hates wickedness.
This morning, I did a little Bible Study on “what God hates” and it was a marvellous time in the Word of God. I was particularly convicted from a verse that I memorized many years ago:
There are six things the Lord hates – no, seven things he detests; haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Proverbs 6. 16-19 NLT
I spent some time this morning confessing my sin and asking God to forgive me. I want to be ever mindful of how God sees sin, rather than I how easily I can justify it.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12.9 NIV