Sin Becomes Normal

This post is partly inspired by a blog my friend, Alex, wrote.

I encourage you read the entire post for yourself, but it’s effectively about how over time, weird becomes normal. I began thinking about this in relation to character traits, personalities, weird people in general, and ideas that just seem too weird to take seriously. Then I really became pressed that the same thing happens with sin.

One of the sections from his blog that really hit me is this:

If you think about, normal doesn’t really mean anything. It is how we describe how com­fort­able (emphasis mine) we are in a situation. If every­thing is how we expect it to be, then it’s normal; if not then it feels weird.

This is altogether true of sin in our lives. When we first commit a particular act of sin, we feel bad about it, especially when we do so knowing that it’s wrong. If we continue that act of sin, it becomes a habit, and we learn to suppress the thoughts driving our conscience that make us feel the weight of what we have done. Sin becomes normal. Sin becomes comfortable.

We do this with our friends too. We all have people in our lives who need to image Christ better, but instead of lovingly calling them on it, we say “That’s just Jack, Jill, Bobby Sue…” Over time, the behaviors (rooted in heart issues, to be sure) that need to be adjusted which initially give us pause and concern become normal, and we don’t even think about it anymore.

This cannot be allowed to be the case though. We are at war with Satan and sin. We must fight to kill our sin.

What sins have you become comfortable with?
What sins do your friends commit that you avoid confronting them about?

3 responses to “Sin Becomes Normal

  1. Interesting, Don. I suggest you leave off the last two sentences, however. You put the reader on defence. Your sentence, “We must fight to kill our sin,” is enough said. The reader gets the picture without feeling condemned which your last two sentences do. Instead of you asking the questions, the reader will automatically ask those questions of themselves, and that way they don’t feel condemned. Good article and thought provoking, tho.

  2. I disagree with Moopy, asking questions is a good way to start a conversation.

    The sins I’m comfortable with are things like pride, greed, etc. Mostly Western sins. I see things like the love of money as “normal” for some people and I struggle to tell them it’s wrong.

    A friend of mine just had a great post about this (http://www.betachristian.net/) and it’s had me thinking – what exactly is greed and how do I confront it?

    • I agree in one sense. If I were writing a book that was more to be read straight through, then I can see that being the best way to leave it. I can’t think of any of Piper’s books that ask direct questions like that.

      On the other hand, if it’s more of a devotional book, then it would fall short without direct, engaging questions to prompt someone to think about what they read as it applies specifically to them.

      The one major advantage blogs have over books is that there is (usually) a place for immediate feedback to the author. So, if a person feels condemned by a question, they have the ability to say so and begin working through why they feel this way.

      Hoping this reply doesn’t turn into another blog, but I think it’s important to point out that condemnation implies the passing of a sentence. I.e. “You did this, and this is your punishment”. Since nothing like that was said on the blog, I feel that any such feeling would be better termed as guilt.

      I would say that is a right emotion, as we are all guilty of sins. The question then becomes, how does the person feel about the guilt. Does he/she feel pressed to confess and repent? If so, that’s conviction and is a very good thing the Holy Spirit is doing through the asking of a direct question.

      If the person does indeed feel judged for their sins (and nothing like this is said on the blog), then if he/she is a Christian they need to seek counsel as to why, because that does not come from God, because Christ absorbed our condemnation for us. If the person is not a Christian, then they are indeed condemned for their sins, and the sin nature they inherit from Adam, unless and/or until they confess Christ as Lord and Savior, and they are free to post here or email me about that as well.

      So, to summarize this: I am careful in how I word things as a whole. I would rather some people feel what they believe to be condemnation and them work through that with someone to either come to know Christ or a better understanding of Scripture through the asking of direct questions than I would have people never ask how this applies to them directly because I assumed they’d ask a question if I left it as the vague “we/us” language the church often uses to avoid confrontations.

      I hear Chandler rightly point out that it isn’t just “God loves us”, it’s “God loves YOU!”

      I feel that if we can address God’s love directly toward a person, then we must also directly challenge people to live out His good and loving commands.

      A little under 500 words…so I guess it’s a short blog after all…

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