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Thursday, May 22, 2014

You faking it?

Have you ever wondered why it is that some people just get "found out" when they do something wrong and others seem to be very clever at concealing their mistakes, often avoiding any type of discovery?  I think we all have at one time or another simply because we wonder how we cannot get away with the same stuff!  We may not come out and admit it, but we definitely are thinking it!  Get caught holding a smoking gun and it is hard to deny you fired the shot.  When it all comes to said and done, all sin is sin and will eventually be "uncovered" - the timing may be different for some, but it all comes out in the wash.  


The sins of some people are blatant and march them right into court. The sins of others don’t show up until much later. The same with good deeds. Some you see right off, but none are hidden forever.  (I Timothy 5:24-25 MSG)


We hear the argument all the time about individuals thinking they are not "evil" or "sinners" - as a matter of fact, they see themselves as "good" because they don't do "bad" stuff.  They pay their taxes, look out for the poor, and even take care of widows.  They don't drink, chew, or run with those who do.  They have never murdered anyone, nor have they been unfaithful to their spouse.  So, how could they be considered "sinners"?  They equate the "good" they do with the absence of a sin nature.  That which is part of our nature cannot be "undone" just by doing "good stuff".  Jesus elevated this idea to the forefront of thought when he shared stuff like:

If someone slaps you on one cheekturn to thethe other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them.  (Luke 6:29 NIV)

You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  (Matthew 5:27-28 NIV)

In essence, what he was saying was that our good or bad deeds go beyond the actual deed - they stem from a source much deeper - the heart.  Man has been born with a heart easily deceived - if not by external forces, at least by his own imagination!  The truth is what sets us free; imaginations hold us captive until they are finally submitted to the inspection and authority of Christ.

To really get at the heart of the matter, we have to allow the "heart" to become what matters.  Mind, will, and emotions - rational thought, perceptions, reasoning - all must be inspected, aligned, and submitted.  Until this occurs, we will continue to be deceived into thinking some of the stuff we don't "think" is really based upon a sin nature is just part of being human and not able to be controlled.  We "excuse" our nature - in turn, we excuse our sin.  Jesus had a challenge for the Pharisees one day - it was that of having the first one who had no sin of his own throw the first stone at the woman caught in adultery.  If you recall the story, none were left to cast a single stone!

Some sins are more blatant - that is what Jesus was showing us.  Some are "easily surfaced" and get us noticed for our short-comings almost immediately.  These are probably easier for us to deal with because they are "open" for others to see.  Those which are buried a little deeper are often the ones we struggle with for what seems like a lifetime.  In some religious circles, they refer to these as our "secret sins" - those we hope we are keeping under raps pretty well.  Eventually they will be revealed, so even the most cleverly disguised sin is never going to remain secret.  We don't take our secrets to the grave, because even the grave has a way of revealing them at the Judgment Seat of Christ.

No one is without sin (Romans 3:23).  Likewise, no one is without a means of having their sinful nature replaced with a new one in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).  There is an "exchange" which must occur - our "best goodness" must be exchanged for the "true goodness" which only comes when there has been an exchange of our "goodness" for the "grace" of God.  One means of redemption exists - the blood of Jesus.  One "exchange" is required - our nature for his.  Only then will the heart be affected.  Sin has a deeper root than what we see on the surface in our lives.  To trust in what we allow to come to the surface as the means by which we believe we will be declared "worthy" or "good enough" is simply risking exposure as a fake!  Just sayin!