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But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Romans 6:22

Harry was your stereo-typical bachelor. He lived alone in a modest home. His yard was seldom mowed. If Christmas decorations were put up, they were put up on December 24 and taken down sometime in July, if they were taken down at all. Harry wasn’t necessarily a slob. He just had better things to do than clean house. So his house was usually dusty and cluttered. He’d wash dishes when he ran out of them. But Harry was happy with this life, for the most part.

Then, Harry met Sally. (No not the movie by the same name!) The more Harry hung out with Sally the more things began to change. The changes were subtle at first. He would shower and shave every day. The clothes he wore were more in tune with the requirements of the social police. He was even known to dust the house and wash dishes on a more regular basis. Not only was his lawn mowed weekly, he even made a few lame attempts at planting some flowers.

What happened to Harry? Was it because Sally nagged him? Nope. Did Sally come over every day to make sure he was dressed appropriately? Not a chance. Did the neighbors complain about the lawn? Well, actually yes, but that wasn’t what motivated him to clean it up.

What was it then the caused the change? One simple word: LOVE. Yep. That’s it. Love. The closer Harry grew to Sally, the more he saw life in a different perspective. He didn’t change because he had to. He didn’t change because it was the only way Sally would hang out with him. Harry changed because he had a new perspective on life. One other thing happened with the change. Harry felt better about himself. He realized that one reason he stayed away from home is because the place bothered him as much as it did his neighbors. Harry had no desire to let his life get stuck in the same rut as it did before Sally came along.

The story of Harry and Sally is a very simple example of what should happen in the life of a person when they decide to say ‘yes’ to Jesus. The change within comes because we are tired of the way we are living and want to change. The closer we walk to Jesus, the more we see areas in our lives we need to clean up. Oh sure there are days when we regress. There are some areas that we may struggle with for a long time. But we earnestly want to see a difference in our lives.

One of the things I struggle with the most in the area of Grace is how easy it is to take the issue of sin lightly. We don’t even like to talk about sin anymore. It’s too negative. Too harsh. Too unbending.

Fact of the matter is, sin of any sort hinders our relationship with Jesus. Does he hate us? NO! Will we lose our salvation? I don’t believe we will. Will our relationship with God and others suffer? Definitely.

Too often we as Christ-followers take the issue of sin too lightly. Believe me, I’m just as guilty or more so than most on this point. We want to change but it comes hard. We may give up and rationalize. “At least I’m not as bad as (the name of a bigger sinner than you). Or, “Thank Jesus I’m forgiven. I’ll just have to confess when I get home.” Until we fully realize the effects sin has on our relationship with God change will not happen.

Don’t let yourself get tricked by the enemy into taking sin lightly. Let the Spirit of God work in you to show you areas that need change. Trust him to direct you. Don’t beat yourself up for failing. Confess that sin and try again.

PRAYER: Father God. I confess that too often I’d rather compare myself with others worse off than I am than to deal with the issues in my own life. Help me to take sin seriously. Empower me to want to change and protect me from the lies Satan tries to feed me to keep me defeated. In Jesus name, Amen.


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March 2011
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