Your Sins Hurt More Than Just You
By: Brian A. Yeager
It has long been the practice of mankind to do something sinful and then defend themselves by saying something like, “I am only hurting myself.” Alcoholics, drug addicts, gamblers, and many like people often think that way. There are similar mindsets in certain kinds of thieves. For example, a person stealing from a large department store thinks they are not hurting anyone because that store won’t miss the merchandise. They fail to realize that loss-prevention in retail stores hurts all consumers by raising prices to cover losses.
Sin has consequences. The obvious consequences of sin are the spiritual ones (Isaiah 1:10-18, Isaiah 59:1-2, Jeremiah 5:25, John 5:28-29, Romans 6:23, Galatians 5:19-21, and James 1:13-16). That is the focus most people, who even think about sin, have. It certainly is not wrong to think about the consequences of sin on yourself. God has even put this focus on mankind (Deuteronomy 30:15-20, Proverbs 8:36, Ezekiel 18:31, Ezekiel 33:11, Matthew 16:26-27, Mark 16:15-16, and II Peter 3:10-14). Where we often lose full sight of the consequences of sin is when we fail to weigh what our sins do to God and to other people. We shall start our study by considering what our sins do to God.
The Impact Of Our Sins On God
Consider the following Scriptures about the impact of our sins on God: “When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work. Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways… I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them… Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God… For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame… For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, where with he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace” (Psalms 95:9-10, Isaiah 63:7-10, Romans 2:23, Hebrews 6:4-6, Hebrews 10:26-29)?
How can you read the language in the Scriptures above and miss the fact that our sins hurt God? Sin causes grief in the heart of our God (Genesis 6:5-6). Our sins would give an opportunity for the enemies of God to speak evil of Him (II Samuel 12:1-14). Besides those things, did you read what we do to Jesus when we transgress His will? Doesn’t the idea of crucifying afresh and trampling our Savior under your feet sound terrible? Yet, if we sin, that is what we’re doing.
God sent His only begotten Son into the world to suffer, be put to shame, and die for us to be saved from the consequences of our sins (Romans 5:6-10, Hebrews 9:28, and I John 4:9-10). Is it possible that you or I might take that unspeakable gift from God for granted? Why do you think we partake of the Lord’s Supper every first day of the week? The answer is, God wants us to remember the cost that was paid for us to be able to be saved (I Corinthians 11:23-26). So, do our sins hurt God? By all means we should see that the answer is a screaming “YES”! In addition to God, our sins hurt other people.
Your Sins Hurt Others
Since this article is intended to be a study for Christians, I am not going to address the effects of sin on society. What I am going to address is how that your sins have an impact on our brethren. Brethren are seriously troubled when they see other brethren err (Psalms 119:136 and Romans 9:1-3). The local church is hurt when brethren err in that each member is part of the body (I Corinthians 12:12-27) and that is a body part that is spiritually injured.
The effects of our sins on our brethren are not always seen either. Notice, Jeremiah’s words for some insight: “But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the LORD'S flock is carried away captive” (Jeremiah 13:17). I cannot speak for every brother or sister in Christ. What I can say is about myself. I have spent more sleepless nights over concern for my brethren than for anything else I have experienced in life. Thus, I can say for sure, if you sin it will hurt me deeply. That pain will be lasting. My concerns will not just end if you repent either. I will stay concerned until true fruit of repentance is brought forth. Those concerns will have a negative impact on my family, others I try to teach, and myself as well. What would my sins do to you? My answer, I don’t want to find out!
Don’t be selfish (Philippians 2:1-5). Your sins hurt God. Your sins hurt your brethren. Don’t just be concerned about going to Hell. Be concerned about what your actions do to other people. God wants us to have such a heart in us that we would fear Him and keep His commandments always that it will be good for us and others (Deuteronomy 5:29). Can you focus on that? Can you be other people minded enough to know that you can either help or hurt others by your actions? Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem because of their ignorance and disobedience (Luke 19:41-44). Let’s not cause our Lord to be in grief.
Volume 14 – Issue 17 - January 12th, 2014