So you call yourself a Christian, ay?
I can’t tell you how many times that thought has run through my mind after interacting with a person who has professed to be Christian but shown signs of being.. well… not.
I know, take the speck out of my own eye first, right? I have been. I’ve been talking to God about a lot of things and His response has been eye opening.
I’ve always called myself a Christian. But there have been times (even in the not so distant past) that my actions have probably shouted otherwise. They’ve been more in agreement with the rest of the world than they have God. And that’s a problem because God expects much different His followers.
These red letters say it all:
P.S. For those who may not know, red letter words in the Bible are words that Jesus himself actually spoke.
“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
In short, if we love God, we will keep His commandments. Most Christians are quick to say that we love God; but are we all living up to God’s commands like we should be? The answer is no. We all sin. Some of us by accident and others.. more by intentional choice. Some of us recognize our wrongdoing and turn away from it, and others choose to stay in it.
But sin is sin. And if we are going to proclaim to be followers of Christ we need to get away from it. If we love God like we say we do we need to start ridding ourselves of the excuses that keep us trapped in sin. Starting here.
6 Excuses Christians Need to Stop Using to Excuse The Sin They’re In.
1. “I’m just being myself.”
Wrong! You were never created to sin. You were created for a relationship with God and to be a part of an incredible victory; the victory that slays death in its tracks.
Knowing that sin leads to death (James 1:5, Romans 6:23) and Jesus came to give us life (John 10:10), I think it’s safe to conclude that as followers of Christ sin should have no part in our lives.
You are a child of God. You have been made new. Sin does not rule you. Sin is not your identity. When we sin as Christians we are actually stepping outside of who God has called us to be because we have been made new. We are no longer who we were. Our identity has changed and sin is no longer associated with it.
2. Cheap Grace.
God’s grace is really a beautiful thing. Because of His great sacrifice, we have the opportunity to live forever with Him, free of the condemnation that comes with our imperfections. What love!
It’s great knowing that when make mistakes I can come to God, confess it to Him, ask forgiveness, and it is over like that. Clean slate, white robe.
Unfortunately, some Christians have misconstrued this beautiful God given grace to mean, “I can do what I want, even if I know it’s wrong because God will just forgive me.”
Yes, He’s a loving God. Yes, He’s a gracious God. But no, that isn’t how it works.
God’s grace is not permission for you to go sin extravagantly. Or even in-extravagantly.
Repentance is a heart issue. We are in no way worthy of God’s forgiveness, nor have we ever deserved it, but we are grateful for it. God’s grace covers our imperfections when we fall short. It is not a “get out of jail free” card.
3. Sin is entertaining.
Look, I get it. I get not being able to escape sin when it comes to entertainment. It’s everywhere. It’s in movies, music, recreation, it’s online, on TV. So much of our entertainment is centered around the conflict that comes with sin.
Look at the movie/TV industry. It’s rare to find a movie or show that doesn’t contain premarital sex, adultery, murder, crude language or humor, drunkenness, and pornography (just to name a few). In fact, most shows praise those things, promiscuity especially. Yet we enjoy watching them. We may not be committing the sin ourselves, but we are allowing it to entertain us. Guilt by association. We are allowing ourselves to be at home with sin.
Instead of loving what God loves and hating what He hates we love what He loves and are entertained by what He hates. Am I the only one who sees a problem with that?
4. “Everybody else is doing it.”
Well hon, you are not everybody else. You are a child of God, and that truth alone drastically changes EVERYTHING. It should change your heart, your intentions, your goals, your standard of living. EVERYTHING.
We are no longer living a life that is all about us. We are choosing a life that is all about God. Our actions need to align with our choice. In the Bible, Paul warns us not to conform any longer to the patterns of this world( Romans 12:2)
The word “conform” means to act in accord with the prevailing standards, attitudes, practices, etc., of society or a group.
When we conform to the ways of the world we are agreeing with their standards, attitudes, and practices; most of which is in opposition to God. Which is why Paul so wisely tells us not to comply to those patterns but instead to allow God to renew our minds; so that we can take on the character expected of us as Christ’s redeemed.
5. It hasn’t hurt me yet.
Have you ever been given a piece of sound advice and opted not to take it because “You’d rather learn the hard way;” which typically implies that you would rather go through the hurt and pain that comes as a result of a poor choice (or series of poor choices) simply because. Because you want to be right because you want to be in charge because you think it’s worth the risk…
It never is.
You may not feel the hurt now, but living in intentional sin will hurt you. Maybe not physically, but the more sin you allow in your life the more distance you put between you and God. And that hurts. An eternity away from God WILL HURT. You have more than this life to think of. Make your decisions in light of eternity.
6. “It’s my right.”
Sure it is. I guess you can choose whether or not you want to live in intentional sin, but the fact that is even an argument makes me really question whether or not we take what we believe seriously.
Do you; take God seriously?
I had a blogging buddy who asked a group of us, “What are some things that are hindering your relationship with God?”
It took some time and reflection but after thinking about it this was my frighteningly honest response:
“It sounds bad but just not taking Him seriously. Not hearing “no” as no. Allowing myself to be entertained by things that I know God doesn’t approve of (TV shows, movies, music, certain types of conversation and recreation). It’s easy to love what God loves, it’s less easy to turn from what He hates..”
The inability to do both of those things (love what God love and hate what He hates) is called being double-minded. Another term for it that you might recognize is “lukewarm.” God speaks very strongly about being lukewarm and is pretty upfront about protecting His kingdom from that behavior. He will not accept lukewarm (Revelation 3:15-1).
So sure, it’s your right. But to those who take God seriously, it’s a right they are willing to surrender.
Have you ever caught yourself making these excuses? You’re not alone. Admittedly, I’ve made a few of them myself. How do you plan to turn it around? What changes can you make in your life to distance yourself from the things that break God’s heart?