The Deception of Sin’s Sufficiency

By | July 27, 2011

Ready for a little bit of True Confessions?

Here we go.

I’m struggling big time lately with turning to my sin to mask and medicate my pain. And I realize I’m doing this. And it’s not working (duh), but I’m still doing it anyway.

And … it’s not even in the “big” stuff, either. It’s in the daily struggles and worries.

No. For some reason, I can see God on “the other side” of cancer, tornadoes, and the like. But it’s handling the pain of stubborn splinters that’s most difficult for me.

In any given day, I deal with some or most of these (I bet you do, too):

  • parenting issues, questions, confusion
  • overwhelm with work responsibilities, household responsibilities
  • financial concerns, worries
  • spiritual fatigue, hunger, and thirst
  • confusion over what’s God’s plan for my life, what am I doing here, and why does it all matter?

And, good gravy, if they don’t all but do me in!

Why? Because they all produce pain.

Sin is painful.
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Identify what you feel when you experience these emotions, and I think you’ll agree that it’s pain:

  • boredom is painful
  • fear is painful
  • stress is painful
  • unrest is painful
  • anger is painful
  • loneliness is painful
  • hunger and thirst are painful

Here’s where I’m stuck. I’ve identified these issues. I realize these issues cause me great pain. I know that I don’t care to struggle with and experience the pain once or twice, much less multiple times over the course of my life.

So, I simply choose escape from the pain. I’ve noticed I—almost automatically—retreat to sinful thought patterns for a few moments of no-strings-attached imagination, which dulls the pain. For a second, sin is delightful, a welcome relief from the nagging pain of my life.

But then the deception is eventually revealed when the pain comes back, after the sinful thought leaves.

When is this cycle broken? When do I grasp that grace is sufficient for me? That grace is the healing balm for the pain? When do I have a greater appetite for the work of grace than for the deception of sin?

Like I wrote earlier this week, God is pruning me. I know by his grace, he reveals this destructive and sinful pattern to me. I know by his grace, he cuts away the death, in order to bring new and hearty growth.

I’m just eager to move on; that’s all.


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Mary Bernard is a Nashville-based writer and mother of three. She's worked in a variety of corporate and creative environments, but none is more comfortable than the dining room table in her own home. Mary loves to help moms discover God's unique call to look in their own houses for their priorities, passions, and provision.

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