REDUCING THE EFFECT OF SIN IN OUR LIVES
The writer of 1 John tells us in chapter 1 to walk in the light of God rather than in the darkness. He further tells us if we claim to have a relationship with God but live as if darkness has control over us, then we are living a lie. To have a relationship with a God who is light means that God is holy, pure, acts with complete integrity (always the same, consistent, trustworthy) and is authentic. To walk in relationship with God means it is our desire and goal to have these attributes in our life. Though we have all been born with a capacity for darkness (to live unholy, perverted, false and deceitful lives), if we are going to have a relationship with God, then we need to bring our lives into God’s light. Light both reveals and heals. Persons who live a “secret life” or who are addicts understand that as long as they deny they have a problem or keep it hidden, the thing they are addicted to will continue to hold power over their lives and they will never experience healing or freedom.
It is when we bring our sinful heart into the God’s light that we will begin to experience healing in our hearts and souls. We often look at the outward manifestations of sin – such as greed, lust, entitlement, abuse, addiction or anger – and try to address these. And while these things need to be addressed, what needs to really be addressed is the underlying root issue of these and that is our sinful and rebellious hearts. The sin in our hearts must be brought into God’s light through repentance. We must our heart before the Lord and confess our selfishness and self-centeredness and ask Him to forgive us and give us a new heart, a renewed mind and the power to live a holy and righteous life.
And the good news from 1 John 1:5-2:2 is that as we confess our sin, God is faithful and just and will forgive us of sins and cleanse our hearts and minds through the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus came and died for us – on our behalf – taking our sin away and the power of sin to destroy us. We don’t need to fear when we confess our sins to God that He will reject us or punish us. Rather He delights in forgiving you, loving you and receiving you. It is knowing this and it is in this environment of acceptance that you can grow and become the person God has designed you to be. Fear will always keep you from being who God designed you to be and from the relationship He wants with you. But knowing He loves you and forgives you allows you the freedom to become the person He has created you to be!