Are there any other "little" things in my life that are causing pain? Do I have any habits or sins in my life that seem small, but are really causing a lot of pain to myself or others? Many times our "little" sins don't seem to be anything we want to discuss. We have the tendency to think that one little area of sin that I keep to myself is not really that big of a deal. Right? Wrong! Any sin that remains in our lives damages our relationship to Christ, injures our relationships with others, and hinders our ability to minister to those who do not believe. Yes, I feel like Paul when I do those things I hate, and don't do what I know I should. Many times I've felt the same way he did when he said, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" And I too thank God -- through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:14-25)
Colossians 4:5-6 says
"Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside (the lost), redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one."
It's difficult to be thinking about sharing Christ with others when we are busy hiding areas of our lives that we hope no one else will find out about, or we have our minds on the things of the world and not the things of God.
2 Timothy 4:2-5 says
"Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry."
Paul wrote these words to Timothy to encourage him in his mission to share Christ with those in his world, to be an evangelist, to fulfill his ministry. We all have people within our sphere of influence to whom we must minister the truth of Christ. Everyone has a ministry, whether you are working outside the home and minister to co-workers and customers or clients, or you're at home full-time and you minister to your husband and children and those you see when you are out and about, or maybe you volunteer at a hospital or a ministry of some sort. No matter where you are, you are to fulfill your ministry. Do you even realize that you have one? You do! But, it's hard to fulfill if we are trying to keep up a facade and hide that little sin we hope no one else finds out about.
1 Peter 3:15-17 says
"... sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil."
God help us to understand this, to see that we are constantly laid bare before You! No sin is hidden that will not be one day shouted from the house tops. Help me to be sensitive to Your precious Holy Spirit, quick to confess and turn from my sins, honest with those around me about my own struggles, and ready to give an account to others for why I have the hope of redemption! David understood this,
Psalm 69:5, "O God, You know my foolishness;
and my sins are not hidden from You."
I pray that we will flee from our foolishness and run to Christ, who is our salvation and our life.
Recently our Pastor did a sermon on "Sin in the Camp" and how a little sin has a ripple effect and how it hurts those around us and destroys our witness to unbelievers, and even our ability to minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ. You can listen to this amazing 4 part sermon here: http://www.brookhills.org/media/page_audio_chrono_2008.htm
Begin with the sermon from 02/03/08. This is powerful stuff!
Loving you all in Christ,