Last night, I forgot to put cooking spray on the baking sheet for Morgan’s favorite food – tater tots. This caused them to stick to the pan, making little holes in the surface of each. This was a horrible transgression in the eyes of my very picky 5-year-old daughter. Naturally, she started crying as she was already sick, hungry, and had determined her tater tots were no longer edible
As I fixed her something else to eat, she leaned over to feed them to our already-stuffed dog, Kallie. You know where this is headed…after cleaning up an unbelievable amount of dog vomit, Jeremy walked over to console Morgan and slipped on the wet floor where I had just cleaned! After a few minutes questioning my life path, I realized all the chaos was a result of breaking a little rule in our household: “Thou shalt spray all tater tot pans with cooking spray.”
Sin often has the same correlation. 2 Samuel 11 shows us how small sins can be a “gateway drug” to much larger ones because sin always breeds more sin. The passage explains that after a big victory over the Syrians, King David decided to stay home when the rest of the kings would customarily go to battle. That was his first mistake in that He wasn’t where God wanted him. Then, as he was lounging around the house, he saw Bathsheba bathing. Seeing her is one thing but the Hebrew word suggests that he “examined” her.
If David had stayed in step with God’s Will, he would never have seen Bathsheba in the first place. His lust and abuse of power lead to sleeping with Bathsheba, whom soon become pregnant. Instead of fessing up, he felt the need to “fix” the situation by requesting that her husband Uriah be put on the front lines of battle. Not only was he placed at the forefront of the most heated battle, but David also gave instructions for the rest of the army to pull away so Uriah would surely be killed. When his plan to kill Uriah succeeded, he immediately married Bathsheba.
The story of David and Bathsheba illustrates that all sin should be avoided at any cost. The Bible shows that some sins are greater than others but small sins make us vulnerable to larger sins by design. This is the case when David neglected to go out with his army. Stepping out of God’s Will made him vulnerable to sin and ultimately the murder of a loyal soldier. Sin at its core is always consuming and leaves us wanting more or something it can never provide.
Carelessness with sin includes the way we approach the sins of others. Our Christian sub-culture has a habit of rationalizing the economy of sin, often posting on Facebook about the large sins while simultaneously wallowing in the small ones. Unfortunately, I’m equally guilty. Often times I think I overlook the “small” sins in my life but the reality is that all sin has the same penalty, no matter the size. All sin is deadly.
On the contrary, the truths of God’s Word satisfy our soul like nothing else can. We are drawn towards sin because of our sinful nature, but we often think we can achieve through sin what only our God can provide. For example, in high school I had low self-esteem, a poor body image and wanted to feel validation and self-worth. However, I sought the wrong sources for validation. I thought I could achieve it through looking a certain way and “dieted” to the point I was obsessed with losing weight. This fixation soon spiraled into something ugly I desired validation but I looked for it in how others perceived me and my own self-image instead of the only source of my validation – Jesus Christ. Except God doesn’t only give us validation; He gives us something far greater – Redemption!
We are most contented and satisfied when we walk in God’s ways. C.S. Lewis once said “ Look for Christ and you will find Him. And with Him, everything else.” God wants nothing more for us to follow Him because of His extravagant love. This is where our hope lies, where our humanity meets his divinity.
It’s difficult to comprehend the full weight of his love, compassion and grace that He has bestowed on His children – that He would send His only son to die for us individually. For those who trust in Him as Savior, He gives the right to be children of God. I am learning that when I am careless with my sin, it belittles the overwhelming sacrifice He paid for me on the cross. Sin damages our relationships with Christ, strains our ability to abide in Him and even decreases our effectiveness in ministry. Sin always leads to chaos and pain.
In spite of David’s sin, He was still referred to as “a man after God’s own heart” in 1 Samuel 13:14. Even though David screwed up, He continued to seek the Lord. David knew God was his only true source of love, satisfaction and contentment, that everything else would fall short. Sin only distracts us from walking with Him as should. The only one who can truly satisfy the human heart is the one who made it.