Sin is delicious. I wish it weren’t so, but it is.
I work with so many women who get caught up in things they never dreamed would hook them.
Lies and deceptions.
Overspending and debt.
When I met with *Carolyn, she couldn’t even look up at me, but finally, she took a deep breath and started.
“I’m having an affair with a married man. We met at work and over the course of conversation and cocktails and compliments, I found myself taken in by him. At first, it was just so nice to be noticed. Not just for the way I look but for my brain and my ideas. He listened to my dreams and my problems. He helped me get promoted.
Now here I am. Three years into a relationship with a married man who will never divorce his wife. Hiding the truth from my family and friends, swallowing the pain and guilt, pretending everything is great. I’ve tried to break it off, but I keep going back.”
I stared at her. Why would a beautiful, educated woman get into this mess?
Because sin is delicious.
Sin wraps itself up in what looks harmless or helpful or inviting,
like the fruit on the tree of good and evil…
Or the prescription that takes away the pain.
Or the images on your computer screen that take you away from real life.
Or the sleeve of cookies that comforts in the midst of conflict.
Or the adorable, but expensive dress you cannot afford, but put on your credit card.
Or the titillating words in the romance novel that sweep you into fantasy.
Or the glass of wine with dinner that turns in to three or four.
Or … you get the idea.
Sin sneaks in and tastes so good.
Pretty soon, you’re back for another nibble and another and another. Before you know it, all you can think about is the sensation of it. The fear of being found out escalates. The fear of being rejected or judged for what you’re sampling sends you into a panic. Pretty soon, you feel trapped.
You feel GUILT for the sin and you feel FEAR of being discovered.
You just can’t let anyone know you were that gullible or that foolish or so arrogant to believe you could handle a taste and not get hooked. You feel trapped in the sin and trapped by the consequences.
That’s the way Carolyn felt as she sat in front of me and in front of God.
Being in that trap contributed to her belieiving
THE BIG LIE …
that there is no way out and no forgiveness.
We worked together until she could break free of the relationship and receive restoration from God. It was tough, but her biggest battle was forgiving herself.
It’s my experience that forgiving yourself is the hardest forgiveness to grant.
We women readily forgive naughty children, wandering husbands, intrusive neighbors and even the inflictors of pain and tragedy. We have the capacity for compassion and understanding for others when lapses in judgement happen.
We have mercy for everyone … except ourselves.
Maybe you’re feeling trapped right now, and you don’t see a way out.
Can I just remind you, Sweet Friend, that Jesus didn’t just die for the little sins you can live with. He didn’t just die for the sins you can manage to forgive yourself for.
Jesus died for the huge stinky atrocities that make you feel so rotten that you believe you deserve whatever trap you find yourself in.
There is a way out.
Freedom requires the courage to confess and repent.
Confess the sin or addiction or behavior specifically.
Tell God you’re done with it.
Ask him to take away the urge and blockade the path to another nibble.
Receive God’s forgiveness.
And forgive yourself.
It’s Easter. The crucified Savior has risen victorious over sin and death.
Believe he extends that gift to you, today. Receive it for yourself and spring the trap open for good.
If the mess, the addiction or the behavior is habitual and you just can’t break free of it on your own, ask for help from a friend, a pastor or councilor.
Prayer: Jesus, I know you not die so I would live condemned in this world. Lord forgive me. Lead me to freedom or to someone who can help me break free. I need you. I need help. I want a different life than this. In Your Name I pray. Amen.
*Not her real name.