Daily Devotional for March 11, 2015
…sin…sinful beyond measure. Romans 7:13
Beware of thinking lightly of sin. At the time of conversion, the conscience is so tender that we are afraid of the slightest sin. Young converts have a holy timidity, a godly fear of offending God. But sadly very soon the fine bloom upon these first ripe fruits is removed by the rough handling of the surrounding world: The sensitive plant of young piety turns into a willow in later life, too pliable, too easily yielding.
It is sadly true that even a Christian may grow by degrees so callous that the sin that once startled him does not alarm him in the least. By degrees men get familiar with sin. The ear in which the cannon has been booming will not notice slight sounds. At first a little sin startles us; but soon we say, “Is it not a little one?” Then there comes another, larger, and then another, until by degrees we begin to regard sin as but a small matter; and this is followed by an unholy presumption: “We have not fallen into open sin. True, we tripped a little, but we stood upright for the most part. We may have uttered one unholy word, but as for most of our conversation, it has been consistent.” So we toy with sin; we throw a cloak over it; we call it by dainty names.
Christian, beware of thinking lightly of sin. Take heed in case you fall little by little. Sin a little thing? Is it not a poison? Who knows its deadliness? Sin a little thing? Do not the little foxes spoil the grapes? Doesn’t the tiny coral insect build a rock that wrecks a navy? Do not little strokes fell lofty oaks? Will not continual drippings wear away stones? Sin a little thing? It put a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head and pierced His heart! It made Him suffer anguish, bitterness, and woe. If you could weigh the least sin in the scales of eternity, you would run from it as from a serpent and abhor the slightest appearance of evil.
Look upon all sin as that which crucified the Savior, and you will see it to be “sinful beyond measure.”
I came across this devotional this morning and was at once refreshed and scolded by my own participation. How often have certain sins and disobedience become “small” and inconsequential? How often have I acted in ways that do not imitate the holiness of God? My sin has become familiar and comfortable, so much so that the shock has worn off.
The lines that feel like a knife to the conscience are “Young converts have a holy timidity, a godly fear of offending God. But sadly very soon the fine bloom upon these first ripe fruits is removed by the rough handling of the surrounding world:”, ” By degrees men get familiar with sin.”, & “So we toy with sin; we throw a cloak over it; we call it by dainty names.”
These are by no means meant to bring guilt, but to reveal the familiarity with sin. It is refreshing to be reminded of that young, sensitive faith that was untainted by the weathering of life and to be reminded that those days are not gone. While the scolding may leave me red and sore, it is necessary to remind me of the dangerous playmates I have made my own.
Holiness is a call that demands constant diligence. It is not an attitude of pride, but of humility as we stumble through the balance of judgement and grace.
May the sins I’ve made familiar become once again shocking. May the calloused conscience become soft once more.