I volunteer with our elementary school’s Good News Club. What a blessing! One thing we teach the kids is that sin is “anything we think, do, or say that doesn’t please God.” Our leader told the kids yesterday that if they don’t love other people, they aren’t loving God.
That got their attention.
I’m sure all of us would agree sin is an affront to God, and it effects Him deeply every time we sin. We know His heart is broken when we sin. We know He is angry when we disobey. And we know that our sin effects our relationship with Him.
We live in a “me first” society. If it feels good, do it. You can’t make anyone happy until you are happy yourself. Look out for #1. I am worthy. I am powerful, I am lovable. I am… I am… I am…
Reading these chapters today reminded me that my sin effects God. But it effects others, too. Even sins I might commit unintentionally can hurt my loved ones, neighbors, coworkers, even strangers. And sometimes I need to make restitution, apologize, or receive someone’s anger over what I have done.
We don’t live in a vacuum. We rub shoulders with people every day. Children can get hurt when parents cheat and/or divorce. Parents get hurt when children go astray. Friends get hurt by gossip. We all end up paying for prisons, hospitals, war.
You are not responsible for anyone else’s happiness. But you are responsible for how you live, how you treat people, how you obey God. You are responsible for not causing anyone’s unhappiness by your sin.
Love one another. That’s how people know we are Jesus’ disciples. Do good to those who harm you. Pray for your enemies. Think of others before yourself. And treat them the way you like to be treated.
Please don’t fall for the lie that it’s your life and you can live it like you want. It is your life. I pray you’ll live it the way God wants.