The Slow Progression of Sin

Posted by Ryan Thompson on

We think “I’m doing great with God!”

We pray passionately and devour the Word daily.

We live for others in a life of service.

Each day, we continue like this, but the prayer becomes routine, reading the Word becomes an obligation, and our time with God begins to be replaced with sleep, iPhone, or food.

We carry on with our lives, but begin to feel like something is missing. We try reading and praying more but it feels empty.

We start filling our time with everything but God. Nothing inherently bad, but it is all used as a replacement for God in our life.

Our mind and heart drift away from others, and we focus on ourselves. Our need for entertainment increases, and every free moment is filled with another distraction.

We begin to view others as objects who are made for our happiness. We get annoyed if they do something little that gets in the way of our happiness. There are so many things that they do for themselves! They rarely think of us! We view them to be as selfish as we have become.

Singing praise in church becomes empty and we are annoyed by the chorus being repeated three times. We stopped taking notes on sermons and don’t get much out of them.

We begin to worry about the usual problems: finances, work or school, family, and friends. When we aren’t able to stare at one of our screens, our thoughts turn to negative complaints about our current life and what we can do to escape it. We dwell on the thought that life is not good right now with our spouse, friends, boss, or someone else close to us. Maybe we could win the lottery, start a business, move, change, or follow a million other possibilities.

At this point the switch to serving another god, like money or pleasure, is almost complete. We don’t realize it yet, but we can’t serve both God and Mammon. But we try.

We haven’t truly prayed in a few weeks, though we convince ourselves that we pray all the time. Mostly we’re just thinking to ourselves.

We start to let sin into our lives more and more. We stare an extra second at an attractive person. Diligence decays into online scrolling or constant gossip. We speak harsh words to our closest family. We don’t repent and we don’t apologize.

The stage is now set. We will likely sin if the opportunity come up. We might even try to find opportunities for sin. Just like David and Bathsheba, “Then it happened….”

We don’t care about the consequences. We are past that point. If we allow ourselves to get into a compromising situation, we will fall. Other than the grace of God, nothing is stopping us from destructive sexual sin.

We should not allow our lives to get to this point. We should recognize the signs of spiritual drifting, and stop it before we get any further from God.

All of these symptoms are a sign to us that we are drifting from God, and that we must get back to a joyful Christian life, experiencing the fruit of the Spirit. We must repent of the small sins of replacing God before we commit sins that will destroy our family. Thank God when he allows us to escape the worst sexual sin by his grace alone, because if it were left in our hands, we would fail miserably.

Within our society’s sexual chaos, Christians now stand out more than ever through sexual purity and faithful marriage. God uses marriage to share the gospel: Christ preparing his bride for the eternal marriage with him. We must not give in when technology makes sexual sin easy and culture makes it accepted.

Even if we have sinned in the past, God makes us pure by his grace in Jesus Christ. And the life we now live is a demonstration of this grace. We all need it. We have all sinned. But now in Christ we have been set free from sin. When we sin, our repentance points to Christ. When we live godly lives, our obedience points to Christ. Stop the sin now before it progresses. The only sure way to prevent sexual sin is to have a daily walk in the grace of Christ.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16