Of Sin and Dirty Shorts

Sin destroys peace with… 

When my nephew Noah was little, he loved his basketball shorts. Whenever his mom would put them in the laundry basket, he would sneak upstairs, put them on, and hide. When my sister would call out, “Noah, where are you?” he would reply, “I don’t know!” He knew he was not supposed to be wearing his dirty shorts, and even though his hiding tactics were not the most advanced, he wanted to avoid his mom so he would not have to take them off.

Sounds a bit like me. When I know I have sinned, I often want to avoid God, especially if I want to keep on doing what I am not supposed to do. I know that if I go to God, I will be moved to confess and repent. Sometimes I just don’t want to. But my sin is not cute like my story about my nephew. Sin destroys my relationship with God. It cuts me off from closeness with Him and makes me want to hide from Him. 

The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
— Genesis 3:8b

Sometimes sin is sneakier than that, though. Instead of making me actively avoid God, sin is that subtle thing that makes me forget God. I can get so focused on other things that I don’t even think about God. Those other things may satisfy for a time, and I won’t even miss Him for a while. But when they fail (and eventually they will), what about God? What am I supposed to do about my Creator whom I have ignored for days, weeks, months? Sin creates a gap in the intimacy I am made to have with Him.

We were made to commune with God. To worship, follow, and depend on Him. When we sin, we break that communion. We worship ourselves and other created things. We follow the desires of our flesh. We depend on ourselves. 

No wonder the entrance of sin also meant the entrance of distress, worry, and pain. Man started putting hope into things that could never deliver. We were left empty, lonely, and in turmoil. The peace we were made for with God vanished. 

Romans 1:18-32 gives us a picture of how our sin progresses. Paul says our problem begins because we fail to honor God as God (vs 21). Here are some ways that plays out:

  • When we worry, we fail to honor God as our Provider who knows everything we need before we ask Him (Matthew 6:8).
  • When we gossip, we fail to honor God as the Creator who made every human being in His image deserving of dignity and respect (Genesis 1:27).
  • When we seek to control every aspect of our lives, we fail to honor God as our Sovereign King who upholds the universe by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).
  • When we engage in sexual sin, we fail not only to honor God as the wise and loving One who designed sex but also to honor Christ as our always-faithful Bridegroom who is patiently awaiting the day that His bride will be presented to Him (Revelation 19:7).
  • When we boast in ourselves, we fail to honor God as the Only One worthy of glory (Hebrews 3:3, Revelation 4:11).
  • When we seek ultimate fulfillment from an earthly relationship, we fail to honor God as the one who truly loves us and gave Himself up for us to satisfy our desires for relationship and significance (Ephesians 5:25-27).

If someone you loved failed to acknowledge you, how would that affect the relationship? None of us wants to be ignored. I think I would pretty quickly cut off someone who rejected me this much. 

Thankfully, this is not God’s reaction. Just as my sister would not leave her son hiding alone, our God comes after us.

Luke 19 : 10
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.