A Hatred for Sin
For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. — 1 Corinthians 11:31
So I’m planning for a communion service at my church. I read in 1 Corinthians 11:28 that I am supposed to examine myself. I am to judge myself to see if there is any evidence that I am truly in Christ. Most days, there isn’t a doubt in my mind. Others, I spend a lot of time praying and even crying out to God because I hate how sin rears its ugly head in my life, heart, and mind.
I am evaluating my salvation experience. I have written in WMD several times that I asked Jesus into my heart as a sixteen year old teenager. People watching me for five years after that would have seen a change of absolutely zero percent. If there is one thing that I do know from reading the Bible, it is the fact that when men have an encounter with Jesus, they do not remain the same. Even if someone rejected Him, they left with the matter even more solidified in their hearts that they did not need Him or want Him. Some even left with the desire in their hearts to murder Him.
I “received” Jesus 23 years ago. I thought that was all there was to it. I thought “saved” meant simply that I now got to go to Heaven. I had no clue that “saved” meant from lust, rage, greed, lying, laziness, foul language, lack of discipline, discontentment and many other things living inside of my heart. I have always wondered why I got worse instead of better after that wonderful day that I was so convicted that I had to call my youth pastor to come and pick me up and pray with me.
I think I now know.
I had a hatred for the fact that I was not going to Heaven. However, I did NOT have a hatred for the sin that lived within me. Therefore, my loving Heavenly Father let me wallow with the pigs for a while. I only see God in my life back then in the fact that there was a conviction, an alarm if you will, that would trigger every time I made a willful decision to sin. At first it was a scream . . . “NO! Adam, do not go there!” Later, it became a voice . . . “You really should stop doing this.” Finally, it became a faint whisper . . . “You know this isn’t MY way.” God allowed me to sin down my own path, but not for one moment did He ever leave me. He was always there.
I look back on those years as the most wasted years of my life. I caused so much heartache and destruction. God gave me an ultimatum: “Live for me, or live for yourself. If you choose to live for yourself, I am done convicting you of sin.” For the second time in my life, I feared God. But, for the first time in my life, I counted the cost of living for Him. I took an honest look at what it looked like to deny myself, take up my cross, and follow Him.
I chose Him. I chose His Ways. I realized really quickly that His ways were quite contrary to my own ways. His ways were much, much higher than mine.
When I finally got it . . . I mean really got it . . . I mean when He opened up the floodgates and filled my heart and soul with a Holy Presence that I had never felt before, I hated sin. I had allowed it for five years to separate me from this unfailing, unbelievable, matchless love that now flooded my heart and mind. I realized what a horrible trade I had made. To this day I still ask for forgiveness for those wasted years, and yes, I know I need to stop that. I know God is faithful and just to forgive us for our sins if we repent. It is just that I hate what sin stole from me. I hate how even today that I can’t recognize it many times until it has already produced some of its destructive fruit. I hate watching it keep others blind. I hate how destructive it is in my own life and the lives of others. I hate to watch it rob the students I teach of their education. I hate how it takes, takes, and takes everything of real and eternal value only to give a return of fleeting moments, and I mean moments of temporary pleasure.
Yes, I am developing quite a hatred for sin.
How has God worked a hatred for sin in your own life?