Have you lived the book of Judges lately? Not have you read the book of Judges lately, but have you lived it? The chorus of Judges is, “The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord their God.” Then there is a new verse of a different Judge who God sends to deliver Israel from its sin bondage—Othniel, Deborah, Gideon, most famously Samson and several others—before the chorus begins again.
When we read the story of Judges, we shake our heads with a pious grin and confused chuckle. Could they not learn from the mistakes of one generation to the next? Could they not be satisfied with God‟s blessings to the intermittent generations of faithfulness?
When we live the book of Judges we feel dumb, ashamed, embarrassed, like hiding, and defeated. We did know better. We had been there, done that, and still bear the scars to prove it; yet we did it again. After a moment of God‟s gracious deliverance—whether it be conviction or more commonly exposure—we see the foolishness of our actions for what they really are.
Now the big question: WHY DO WE DO IT AGAIN, AND AGAIN! AND AGAIN? The short answer: we domesticate sin. We view sin as just the bad things that we do. It is there when we do it, but otherwise it is a non entity. We do not believe sin has a lasting presence, personality, or agenda. We believe sin is there to serve us (if we could get away with it), rather than seeing its desire to rule our lives.
This article has two purposes—to teach you to take your sin seriously and attack it effectively. “Taking your sin seriously” could mean many things: (1) to perfect your sin through practice and repetition, (2) to not exaggerate other people‟s sin as more significant than your own, (3) to pay attention to the times you sin and not dismiss it, (4) to identify the unique aspects of a particular besetting sin and work to exterminate it by the grace of God, or (5) to be over-whelmed by guilt and shame of your sin in an emotionally self-mutilating form of penance.
The goal of this article is definition number four. Numbers one and five are two extremes that must be avoided if sin is to be conquered. Numbers two and three will play in a key role in preparing us to complete our objective.
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