Saying "Yes" to God
by Debbie Holloway
It seems like every day one hears about all kinds of troubling behavior from people who ought to know better. A family friend leaves his wife and children for his secretary. A pastor resigns from his parish after his drug addiction is discovered. A CEO is caught with his hands on company money. We see it in the news. We hear about it from friends. It invades our households. Destructive, self-centered, sin. And so often the guilty party seems completely blind to his error, or unable to fathom how he ever made such a huge mistake.
As a recent member of what most would consider the “adult” world, I have often pondered how seemingly well-adjusted, often God-fearing members of society can justify such actions in their minds. In fact, in my more panicky moments, I have had a fear of suddenly lapsing into some dreaded sin myself – like these perfectly capable people I see all around me.
After all, does my righteousness exceed that of the Pharisees? How can I claim to have more wisdom than my parents or my pastor? Do I know more about the world than my professors? Could I possibly have a better understanding of morals and truth than my government leaders? If I watch them stumble into seemingly obvious moral blunders, how could I possibly escape the same fate?
After recently confiding this dread to a loved one, I was reminded that drastic sin or extreme lifestyle choices don’t just appear out of nowhere. Adultery doesn’t just happen. Divorce doesn’t just happen. Heartless slander and libel don’t just happen. Sin must begin as a small seed, creep in, take root, and grow. We can choose to feed it …or starve it.
The hard part is that often our sin nature is just as appealing as the prompting of Holy Spirit. Far too often we know right away what the godly course of action would be. Humility. Purity. Hard work. Compassion. Faithfulness. But we still get tired, exasperated, lustful, and proud. So we start making decisions which violate our consciences. Tiny decisions that seem meaningless. But those tiny choices grow and grow. Eventually, our life becomes a messy sin explosion and we cry out, “Where did I lose control?”
The comforting part is that it’s a process. I won’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden think it’s totally OK to steal someone’s car or send nasty, gossipy emails about people I don’t like. 1 John 1:7 says that,
“If we walk in the light, as [God] is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
If I say “yes” to God when he shows me how I can remain faithful to him in my lifestyle, in the little things, that will strengthen me to say “no” to life-wrecking choices.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Don’t live in fear of becoming something you hate. Just make conscious choices to be like Christ.
The Characters of Christmas is a podcast created to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth. It is the companion to Dan Darling's book "The Characters of Christmas: The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus."