The Wages of Sin

Romans 623 [widescreen].pngI’m sitting here on a night I couldn’t sleep thinking about all the possible things I could have done wrong and suddenly it hit me. Romans 6:23 is a verse nearly every Christian (and even non-Christian) know to well. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” It was the first part that stood out to me.

The first half of the verse talks about death coming from sin. Let’s face it, death is all around us. We can see the effects of sin just by turning on the news. These are the obvious signs of death that come from sin. But what about the not so obvious? It’s easy to look at the TV and say “see, we’ve turned away from God, followed sin, and now look at the world.” Let’s look closer.

When sin is active in our lives, it causes death to something. Sin for example may not physically kill you, but it can kill your joy. It can kill your relationships. It can kill your hope. I can keep going, but I am sure you get the point. I am also quite sure that theologians have written about this before. There are countless books about sin, overcoming it, and speaking life to things. It shouldn’t take a book to convict you. God’s own word should do that. Sometimes late at night when you can’t sleep. I believe that those moments are sometimes God calling you out. You are less likely to be distracted by things when the rest of the world is asleep.

Let’s go back to that word convict. I think people have it confused with guilt. I am going to go so far as to say guilt does not come from God. Guilt comes from the enemy. God wants us to be convicted because we realize that the sin in our lives interferes with our relationship with Him and the great things he has for us. This is not guilt. This is the realization that there is something better than the way I was doing it before. Sure, guilt will still creep up on you. It has on me. But the life we gain when we realize what sin has been robbing us from is so much better!

What has sin been robbing you from? Maybe it’s a friendship. Maybe it’s an opportunity for career advancement. Or maybe, it’s robbing you from God using you to further His kingdom. Many of us feel inadequate because of our sin, so we tend to not do things thinking “I can’t do this, I keep doing this sin”. Thus, sin has caused the death of your ministry.

Rejoice! There is a second part of the verse. “But the FREE gift of GOD is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sure, this is talking about life beyond this life. But life is the key word here. Through Christ, there is life. Life eternally and life earthly. He brings life where there was none before. He can bring life to a relationship or circumstance when He becomes the center of it.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking “yeah, that’s obvious”, then congratulations, I am glad ¬†you have it all figured out. For the rest of us, if you are struggling with something or you feel guilty or dirty or less than worthy, then rejoice, because our God has overcome sin AND Death! When our focus is on Him, our desires become aligned with Him. Through this alignment, the things which sin caused death to begin to come alive.

i’Dea

canstockphoto15950125We live in a world where everyone seems to have something to say. We see it across the internet from Facebook to Twitter and on every site with a comment page. But sometimes, what needs to be said, or what we want to say, requires a little more thought, a little more patience, and a little more fine-tuning. That’s where this little site comes in. It’s a start of something different.

Let me back up a little. I have spent the last week or two reducing the amount of time I spend on social media. This has not been an easy task. It turns out, everything is connected to social media. From television shows and commercials broadcasting hashtags and tweets, to nearly every website asking us to “share this with friends”. I am not against this. I think it’s a great way to share things.

When it comes to deeper reflections and really communicating our thoughts to people, it tends to get lost in the status shuffle. For example, you can post a serious or thought provoking statement and get very little–if any–reaction. Just a few minutes later, you can repost a silly meme and within seconds have several likes, shares, and comments. This would be okay with me if we all used to to brighten someone’s day with laughter.

Lately however, it has become mostly a place for people to put down others. It has become toxic, a place where people are vile and spew verbal diarrhea hiding safely behind their smartphone or computer screens. It’s perfect. Get online, act like a jerk, have absolutely no basis for your argument, and sit angrily stewing at those who don’t seem to understand how awesome you are. Don’t worry, I’m not singling anyone out. I am talking to myself too.

I love sharing pictures with with people. I love celebrating life accomplishments, sharing experiences with friends and families far away, and exchanging ideas with people of different backgrounds. But enough is enough. I’ve challenged myself to only log into social media once per day and try to fill my time with other things. Admittedly, I haven’t been as diligent as I should have been, but I have changed some of my browsing habits.

I decided that I needed a place to write down and share my thoughts and discoveries without the distraction of a click-bait post waiting to lure me into some endless list of things like “The Best Foods to Eat While in a Headlock”.

This is a place to share things I’ve learned and experiences I have had to maybe lift you up and encourage you on your own life journey. I don’t expect a million readers to like and share my posts. But if I am able to reach out to one person and make a difference, then it was worth my time.

To start, since you have been kind enough to read this far, I challenge you to reduce your social media exposure. Set a limit to times you check your newsfeed. In the few times I have done this, I have discovered the time for things I always claimed I didn’t have time for before. If you do take on this challenge or have quit social media completely, I would love to hear your story in the comments.