Sin is choosing to go my way rather than God’s way.
Sin is living like I know better.
Sin is “me first.”
Sin is separation from God and His will.
Sin is a symptom of a broken relationship.
Sin is ignoring God’s advice.
Get the idea?
Sin is not “just” doing bad stuff; it’s living like God doesn’t matter. Rather like running my car without engine oil, not because it’s smart or because I’m stupid, but because I want to. Even though I know the owner’s manual tells me the oil chamber must be full at all times and even suggests the oil be exchanged for new pure clean oil every 5,000 miles. I just power on, ignoring the red blinking engine light and assuming all will go well because I want it to.
The penalty of sin? In the case of my car, the result is a blown engine and a lot of expense and some very long walks.
“It’s like this,” my brother Jack used to say. “When the Creator was through making things on Day Six, He took Adam and Eve out for a Friday evening stroll in the garden. As they walked He explained everything they saw — which trees had the tastiest fruit, what to do with the ‘weedy’ artichoke plants, how to talk with the dogs and cats and dolphins, all the good stuff they’d need to know if they were going to live happily in the garden.
“Then,” Jack would say, “the Creator stopped on the edge of a place where the plants seemed shorter and the grass more yellow.
“'Look out there,' the Creator said. 'See all the yellow tape strung around the sinkholes?”'
“'Yes,' Adam and Eve answered. 'Has there been an accident out there? Why the yellow tape?'
“'There are 10 giant sinkholes in the garden,' the Creator explained. 'If you wander off on your own there’s a good chance you’ll lose your way and fall into one of them. There is no bottom in the holes, so if you fall in, it will be quite terrible. Yes, I’ll be there to catch you if you call me, but you will still suffer from the fall. It’s best to walk with me and let me keep you away from the sinkholes.'
“That’s God’s Law,” Jack would say. "Ten sinkholes, surrounded by bright yellow tape imprinted with DANGER — DO NOT CROSS. But, to get to the sinkholes you have to leave the trail!”
God’s law, as recorded in Exodus 20, begins with the Creator explaining why we should listen to Him. “I am the One who delivered you from bondage, the One who has given you freedom. To enjoy the fullness of this freedom, you must … .”
Then He lists the Ten Commands. Describes the Ten Sinkholes. Points to the most dangerous decisions you can make. Explains the danger of walking away from the path, of ambling along without Him, of “doing it my way.”
The Law is one of the Creator’s kindest gifts. In it He promises to always be our personal Deliverer. To protect us from the dangers of wandering off and falling into a sinkhole of selfishness. It is His guarantees that if we stay close to Him, walk with Him, let Him deliver us into freedom, we will experience the very best of life.
As Jesus explained it in John 10:10, “The thief has come to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come so you can have Life as God lives it, full to overflowing, endless and free.”
Pretty good offer, isn’t it?