It's a word used in church settings and a word that should pierce our hearts with alarm and anguish. But it doesn't. It really doesn't. After all, sin is just a little too much fun, right? It's just a little too much to drink, a little bit of deceit and a little hunger for glory. It's just a little lustful look, a little bit of greed, a little bitterness, a little of this and a little of that. It's a small word that we have, in turn, made a small deed.
I would agree that sin is enjoyable. I mean think about it. The world rolls around in sin because sin looks good to our eyes and feels good in our hands; it smells good, sounds good and tastes good on our lips. There's no doubt about it. Sin is fun.
But sin has an ugly side; a sinister side. While we are dancing to its rhythm and enjoying its flashing lights, it is lurking in the shadows thoroughly enjoying our display of ignorance. While we are picking it up and savoring its touch and its sweet smell, sin is grinning a wicked grin waiting for the first bite that will evict us from Eden. Sin, however appealing and pleasurable, has an ugly side and you have seen it yourself. We don't want to take a close look because then we would be less inclined to entertain it tomorrow. But it's still there with all its nightmarish schemes. You have seen sin quietly creep in and utterly capsize an entire family. You have seen sin attack with a viciousness that leaves people paralyzed with shock and disbelief. Sin didn't look so bad until it was indulged in. Friends, it's time we quit with the flowery words and the irrelevant speeches. It's time to look - really look - at what sin is truly like. From my own experiences and the stories of so many in my life whom I love, I would like to share with you the ugly side of sin.
Sin has lured men from their families. Sure, they use the word "love" to justify the very thing that love is not but, then again, that is what sin does. Sin always lies. It promises a beautiful, happily ever after tale, but the ugly side of sin is watching children run to the door after their daddy as he walks out with a suitcase on his way to a rendezvous. The ugly side is a faithful wife flippantly tossed to the side like a piece of discarded trash and expected to do the work of two people instead of one. The ugly side is brokenness at every level. The ugly side is seeing children crying and praying for their daddy to come home. The ugly side of sin is hearing little voices question their Heavenly Father's faithfulness when they see their earthly example's lack thereof. While he is partying it up with booze and his new set of breasts to play with, his wife is rocking their children to sleep and then locking herself in her closet and wailing in pain and with grief on the floor. Sin came in with promises of excitement and thrill but the ugly side is chaos and complete destruction because truth and error can never coincide.
Sin has indoctrinated women to offer up their bodies like it's some kind of cash deposit for worthiness. Sure, they thought indulging in promiscuous activity would be liberating and bring them some semblance approval or power, but that is what sin does. It promises passion that makes your skin tingle and excitement that leaves you breathless. It even promises security to women who just want to feel like they are fully known and desired, but the ugly side is bitter rejection that leaves her reaching for a bottle of pills in the cabinet. The ugly side is walking out of a clinic with a painful infection or disease that's life altering. The ugly side is the silence in the dead of night with nothing but a humiliating movie reel in her head. It's shame that reaches down into the deepest part of the heart. It's regret of the intimate exposure. It's embarrassment when her character and her reputation is no longer about who she is but how much she will dish out. She can use her past, or her lack, or even the name of Jesus to justify spreading her legs for countless men, but the cost is her mind, her heart, her body and her very soul. The cost is her family - sometimes two families! The ugly side is long and agonizing sleepless nights because there is never any peace when the Savior is forfeited for sin.
Sin has crept into the minds of men and fooled them into believing that respect is to be demanded instead of earned. All while using words like submission and love, fists are clenched, voices are raised, kicks are given, items are thrown, threats are made and trust is shattered. But then again, sin can be loud and it's always going to eventually hurt. It promises quick results that satisfy the appetite of a heart soaked with laziness and self-entitlement, but the ugly side is the ruin of a relationship. The ugly side is a woman gripped with pain and fear who covers her blue and purple bruises and red, swollen eyes with makeup. The ugly side of sin is a woman so afraid to trigger the atomic bomb in her home that she loses sight of her own value as a human being. The ugly side is a man that has utterly lost all respect and admiration from the very people he is supposed to gently love and lead all because of his own quest to feel like a god in his house. Sin promised a detour to domestic bliss but the ugly side is fear instead of friendship and anger instead of appreciation because love never produces abuse.
Sin has trapped women into thinking that sex with other women is somehow the antidote for male relationships gone bad. Sure, women share similarities and many times a far more apparent emotional connection but, then again, sin always has some good bait. It comes in whispering promises of healing the wounds from men and being the remedy for humanity's innate desire to connect, but the ugly side is a hurt far worse than what any mortal man can inflict. The ugly side is the enormous level of stress and exhaustion that comes with a pursuit to reshape and alter what God has created and called good. The ugly side is reaching for a gun because she has lost herself trying to build a dysfunctional reality through her sexual orientation. The ugly side is forfeiting the opportunity to experience an earthly glimpse of the love Jesus has for His people through a Godly marriage between husband and wife. The ugly side is bad health and depression that sinks into every crevice of her heart and psyche. Worst of all, the ugly side of sin is the devastating rejection and separation from God because of a mind that would rather be reprobate than righteous.
Sin has wandered into the church, corrupting people in positions of authority. Sure, they are human and all humans are imperfect but then again, sin never regards context or the fullness of the Gospel of grace. For those who hold a specific religious title, sin promises easy money, a good name for yourself and power over people but the ugly side of sin is a soul entering into eternity without Christ because the pulpit was used to harm instead of help. The ugly side of sin is marriages breaking, children rebelling, friendships ending, testimonies crumbling and the Church being more like a game all because God's Word was deliberately mishandled and used as a means to wield control over souls God Himself died to save. The ugly side of sin is modern day Pharisees and Sadducees who know enough Scripture references to crucify the hearts of innocent people; committing spiritual murder. The ugly side of sin is the living, breathing Holy Word being used to rationalize the very thing that required the blood of the Word Himself. Instead of trembling at the irreverence, they have taken things that are pure and good and hurled them into the mud, polluting the very words of God Almighty because His words make them uncomfortable. Sin is ugly. But then again, sin would always rather dismiss the responsibility of a new creation in Christ and stay stagnant in the swamp of hell.
Sin glitters. Sin is delicious. Sin is enticing, intoxicating and pleasurable to the senses. It promises everything we could want. It literally promises that we can be the god of our own little universe, with no need for the Creator anymore. But if we look past the forked-tongued sweet-talk of the serpent and even past the first damning bite of forbidden fruit, we will see ruin. We will see pain so deep you want to stop breathing and tears so many you beg to stop feeling. Sin is vicious, friend. Sin would rather have you screaming with fear in the blackness of night than walking confidently in the light with a smile on your face. Sin would rather gleefully push you and your family off a mountain and watch you crash into the ravine than have you obediently walking the road of holiness. Sin would rather you give your body to monsters like some kind of sacrificial offering than be cherished and loved unconditionally. Sin would rather have your children tossed into the flames of hell than to uncompromisingly follow after and glorify the name of Jesus. Sin is ugly. The after taste will leave you heaving in the bathroom. The effects will be a chilling grip on your health, your sanity, your relationships and your very soul. The consequences will find you eating with the hogs because sin will always leave you without a real home. It will always, always thoroughly destroy everything it touches. Sin cost Jesus His very life and each time we consider dabbling with something that required the sacrifice of God Himself, we should fall on our faces in lament.
Don't be fooled by it. Just grab your family and run from it. May this year mark the beginning of a life that is no longer ruled by what is vile and wicked and oh so devastating.
Sin is ugly....
Romans 6:1-2 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?