James 1:13-15 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (NKJV)
We hear a lot excuses today for lack of self control, undiscipline, pride, selfishness… things we used to call sin. Among those excuses are lack of self esteem, a need for self love, a bad childhood, disorders, circumstances or chemical imbalance. It is both typical and predictable that the world contrives all sorts of reasons for sin except the real one (that’s assuming that “sin” is even recognized at all, which it rarely is anymore).
The only way you can grow spiritually is to confront sin head on and not make excuses. We must recognize the source, and attack the root if we want to have any serious victory over it.
What is the real cause of sin?
You. Me. Our own desires. Self. What WE want…
The Bible is very clear about the process of sin and we do well to trust that God knows what He is talking about. In the book of James we find the conception, birth, growth and result of sin very plainly outlined:
- First, don’t blame God for your sin; this is first and foremost because until you blame the right person – YOU – there can be no growth or maturity
- You are tempted by your own desires; they draw you, pull you, entice you, seduce you…. YOUR desires. It is not the desire that is “sin” however…
- The desire, when entertained, cultivated and incubated, subsequently gives birth to sin.
That is important to understand. The desire, the tempation, the enticement, is NOT the sin. It is during that time of tempation that God always gives us an “out”, a way to escape the seduction (1Cor 10:13). It is only when we take the next step and embrace the temptation that sin is born.
- That sin then grows; it grows as we feed it by repeating the sin, enjoying the sin, avoiding confrontation of the sin, by excusing it.
- If we allow that sin to grow unchecked, when it runs it’s full course, the result is death.
In some ways, some “dying” occurs at all stages of sin because it kills our fellowship, joy and relationships. However, when sin is allowed to fully grow it can result in complete spiritual and physical death.
The origin of sin is no mystery. It’s not some complicated psychological puzzle. The process of sin is clear and easily identifiable as soon as we view it Scripturally, rather than through blame game of pop psychology.
Identify the desire that is the root of your sin. Ask God for the wisdom to know the “out” for that temptation. He promises that we will never have a tempation we cannot overcome, so why not take Him up on that promise?
Lord God, help us to see sin the way You do. Help us to turn to You for the way out when a desire threatens to give birth to sin. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?