We are really good at excuses. We seem to be born with an innate ability to blame shift. If you have ever hung out with little children for any length of time it doesn’t take long before you hear some kind of excuse. As we grow into adulthood, we simply refine our technique. We learn socially acceptable ways to excuse ourselves, and put even the most skilled spider to shame as we weave a web of excuses that could cross the globe.
Of course we come by this naturally. Our father Adam and our mother Eve made the very first excuses. When confronted with their sinful rebellion, the first thing they did was point their fingers at someone else. (Genesis 3:9-13) I find it interesting that as they were now corrupted by sin, the first inclination of their hearts was to be just like their new father, the father of lies, and to lie to themselves and to God. (John 8:44) The irony is that for many of us when hearing their story, we find our own deceitful hearts already working hard to point a guilty finger towards Adam and Eve! This of course is case in point because Romans 5:12 tells us, “… sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—“. ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Rom. 3:23)
In order to protect ourselves from the shame of sin’s guilt we shift the blame to take us off the hot seat, and maintain the illusion of perfect innocence. Pride beckons us to see only the best in ourselves. We do this so often, so quickly, and so thoroughly that our hearts, hardened with sin, are completely blind to it. It is only when the Holy Spirit begins to work in our heart, that we can even perceive that our excuses are meaningless, and are a convenient way to minimize our sin.
But that is the biggest lie of all. Sin is serious. Very serious. 1 John 3:4 says that, “everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness.” So sin is lawlessness. John 8:34 says, “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin”. Sin enslaves us. 1 John 3:8 states that, “whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning.” Sin is open rebellion against God. Mark 7: 21-23 says, “For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” Sin defiles a person. When Isaiah, in the Spirit is brought before the throne of God he says, “”Woe to me! … I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Sin makes us unclean. And finally, if we are still not convinced of the seriousness of our sin, “…the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23a) Sin leads to death.
But God in His infinite grace and love offers us a solution to sin. John 3:16, swallows up the darkness of sin and offers sinners one hope. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Sin is so serious that God had to provide His own Son as “the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1John 2:2) Sin IS serious.
If we are in Christ, we have been bought back. We have been redeemed. (1 Pet. 1:18-19) “He brought us out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst our bonds apart.” (Ps. 107:14) “He sent out His word and healed us, and delivered us from …destruction.” (Ps. 107:20) In this we must be exceedingly thankful, in these things we should unceasingly rejoice.
So we no longer have any excuses. Sin is serious, and blame shifting is merely a dark cloak covering an even darker reality. Hebrews 10:26 warns us, “ if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” When we make light of our sin, when we excuse it in any way, we belittle His sacrifice. Instead the Lord says to us, “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
So today my friends, let us “be wretched and mourn and weep. Let our laughter be turned to mourning and our joy to gloom. Let us humble ourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt us.”(James 4:9-10) Let us cry out once again with the Psalmist and sing, “I acknowledged my sin to you, and I do not cover my iniquity; I say, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgive the iniquity of my sin.” (32:5)
Sin is serious. We have no excuse.