August 13 – 5 – Slaves to Sin

Read Romans 6:17

Slavery, a word that conjures up images of the horrors of the past.  Chains, helplessness and hopelessness all come to mind at the mention of the word.  Thanks be to God, that blot on our country’s history has been eradicated, but the self-imposed slavery to sin that people put on themselves every day is alive and well.

Slavery to drugs, alcohol, adultery, stealing, lying and even food have many in its grip, leaving feelings of powerlessness, hopelessness and despair.

Paul in Romans 17:19 states it this way:

“…for I do not do the good I want to do, the evil I do not want to do- this I keep on doing.”

Sometimes our sins are kept private but other times they are spread across headlines in the local newspaper, leading only to more shame and despair.

Before we start feeling smug, the Bible tells us, “We ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”

Next time you shake a finger or look the other way at a brother or sister who has slipped into the grips of sin, think about how you would feel if everything you did or thought that was wrong in the eyes of God was spread across the headlines in big bold letters for everyone to see.

God demonstrated His own love for us in this: “While we were STILL sinners Christ died for US!”  and broke our bondage to sin.  It is up to us to introduce others to Christ so they know He did the same for them. Then, the transformation involves change and change is hard.  How we as Christians react can help or hinder.

Once a man went to church for the first time.  He forgot to turn off his cell phone. Right in the middle of the sermon, it went off.   His wife and all the people around him, even the pastor, were angry and wouldn’t talk to him.

He never went back. 

Then he went to a local bar and spilled a drink all over the table and floor.  The waitress gave him a cloth to wipe it up, bartender poured him another drink.  A man sitting beside him struck up a conversation with him and told him that the same thing had happened to him.  The man went back to the bar every day. 

So, what is your reaction to people who are trapped by sin?  Do you point a finger, or do you give them a towel to wipe their tears, offer a hand to clean up their mess, listen to their story and let them know that they are not alone?  Sometimes all people want is for someone to talk to and to know they are not alone.

We are the light of the world. God wants us to be the FLASHLIGHTS leading others out of the darkness of sin and into the light of His love.

Shine on!

Pat Arnold

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