“Extracting” Sin

God has been working on me, lately, in the area of hating sin. We hear this a lot in reference to others: “Hate the sin, love the sinner” and all. But adages like that tend to make me even more self-righteous than I already am. I need to focus far more on my own sins than the sins of others.

I was reading part of A.W. Tozer’s book, The Pursuit of God (free on Kindle!), and was hit pretty hard with this discussion of our sinful nature:

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“The tough old miser within us will not lie down and die obedient to our command. He must be torn out of our heart like a plant from the soil; he must be extracted in agony like a tooth from the jaw. He must be expelled from our soul by violence as Christ expelled money changers from the temple. And we shall need to steel ourselves against his piteous begging, and to recognize it as springing out of self-pity, one of the most reprehensible sins of the human heart.”

I have had more than my fair share of dental work in my lifetime, so the image of ripping a tooth from the jaw really resonated with me. When I have had an infected tooth, I HATED it. I wanted that thing out. Now! Whatever it took.

But have I ever viewed sin like that? Take gluttony, for instance. I know it’s a sin. But since my weight is within the “normal(ish)” range, I figure it’s no big deal. Eat that second donut, that handful of leftover Halloween candy…Even though I know I don’t need it. And what about laziness? Also a sin. But, again, I have grown accustomed to it. I know I should clean up, but I’d really rather read. Those dishes will still be there tomorrow. No big deal.

But Tozer reminds me that sin IS a big deal: Jesus had to die because of our sin, because of MY sin. Yet, daily, I squander the amazing gift of salvation by willfully choosing to sin against the God who loves me so deeply.

God doesn’t ask me to let go of sin because He wants me to be miserable, but because He wants me to soar. He knows I can know Him better, serve Him with greater passion, minister more effectively to others when  my mind and heart aren’t weighed down by sin.

So I want to hate my sin and love my Savior. I want these “entanglements” gone so I can “run with endurance the race marked out for” me (Heb. 12:1).

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