Can Sin Ever Be Good?
Can sin ever be good? The answer seems obvious – No!
But hear me out.
I have a story that can help us answer that question — a question we each need to ponder.
Just to warn you a little, this is not a chicken nugget post. It’s more like filet. By that, I mean this question is meaty.
Worst Decision Ever
Many years ago I made the worst decision of my life.
I sat on a vinyl-covered barstool and walked away from God.
We’d come to an impasse.
The life I wanted didn’t match the life He seemed to want for me. So I told Him the time had come for us to part ways . . . at least for now.
I hadn’t stopped loving God. But He wanted me to surrender to Him, and I wanted Him to surrender to me.
Since we both refused to give in, I made the worst decision of my life.
Two years and painful scars later, I found my way back to God.
With relief and joy, I fell into His welcoming arms and surrendered to His will.
At least I thought I’d surrendered.
Here We Go Again
While my renewed relationship with God exhilarated me, my repeated failure to walk free from sin frustrated me.
Want what God wants. Want what I want.
Gain victory. Fall on my face.
Stand against sin. Run after sin.
Before long, I was digging my heels in with God. Again.
“You always get Your way,” I cried. “Please, this time, just do what I’m asking!”
The Pangs of Death
Ever patient, God spoke through His Word into my aching heart and clouded mind.
“Your way leads to destruction. Your path is paved with lies. Believe Me when I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24)
I’d been feeling the pangs of death, sure enough, but not the kind God meant.
I was killing my fellowship with God. I was fighting a battle I knew I’d ultimately regret but couldn’t seem to stop fighting.
As they say, “The heart wants what the heart wants.”
They are so right sometimes.
Except it was like I had two hearts.
Two Hearts – One Battle
One heart wanted what God wanted as it overflowed with love for Him. The other heart wanted what my sin wanted, as it overflowed with desire for it.
I begged for relief. “Change me, God! Change my heart!”
I understood why suicide seems appealing. Relief from pain and struggle in an instant.
God knew I didn’t need relief, though. I needed power. Resurrection power to follow the heart that desired God more than sin.
The funny thing about resurrection, though, is it only comes after death.
Finally, on a warm spring day, I sat on the soft grass in the shade of my Vitex tree and died.
“You win, God,” I said. “I can’t fight anymore. I don’t want to fight anymore. I just want You. I don’t care about anything else. Just give me You. I’ll do whatever You want, no matter what it costs me, even if You never bless me again. I don’t care. Just give me You.”
In utter weakness, I died that day. Yet, I rose up and walked into my house stronger and freer than I’d ever been.
God had won the battle, and I gained the victory.
It’s time for a verdict on whether sin can be good.
But first, let’s review the facts of my story.
My love for God – as strong as it felt – didn’t draw me back to Him. The pain of my sin did.
My desire to please God didn’t open my eyes to the reality of how good He is or how perfect His law is. My sin did.
It was the devastating “rewards” of my sin that shook me awake to the truth that the path I was walking led only to destruction.
Sin’s agony sent me fleeing to Truth. Running back to God.
Without sin’s wretched grip, I may never have become desperate for relief. I may never have died that day and fully surrendered to God.
Instead, at the very best, I might have lived the rest of my life in exasperation, feeling doomed to a rollercoaster existence of failure, victory, failure, victory.
In view of the facts, I ask again: Can sin ever be good?
No, it can’t.
Sin can never be good. It is unadulterated evil bent on destruction.
But God is good.
God is so good and powerful that He can and does use everything, including our most hideous sin, for His perfect purposes.
He used my wretched sin to draw me to Himself and teach me the truth we all must learn:
Jesus paid the full price (penalty) for our sin on the cross, BUT sin isn’t gone. It lives on inside us, and we are powerless to defeat it – by ourselves. But thanks be to God for His resurrection power over sin through His Holy Spirit, who lives in every Christian.
Sin is Never Good. But God Is.
If you’re struggling with sin and feel powerless to defeat it, you need to know that only God can, and He will. Abide in Christ.
Trust Him to be your strength and walk in that trust.
If you’ve already reached an impasse with God and walked away, I pray you’ll return. God is worth more than anything sin or this world has to offer.
Sin’s “rewards” lie perched on a mountain of crumbling lies.
Because sin can never be good.
But God always is.