By Kathy Johnston
If you have listened at all to the news in the last few months, I’m sure you’ve got a pretty clear idea of the amount of evil in the world these days. And not just in far off countries, but right here in the good old USA.
One shocking and devastating story has been that of Planned Parenthood clinics reportedly selling aborted baby parts to research labs. I watched the undercover videos of professional women dining in a nice restaurant and sipping on a glass of wine while they discuss the dismemberment and sale of aborted babies. My heart is overwhelmed with grief and shock that humans are capable of this. These are people who live in our own cities and towns. They are women who should be loving and nurturing, very likely have given birth to their own children, and experienced the feeling of another life inside them. In horror I wonder how they could possibly do that? How could they have gotten to the place where they so casually can talk about ending a tiny life in the womb and tearing that little body apart and selling it to the highest bidder?
Another story in the news recently is that of the Duggar family on the popular show 19 Kids and Counting. This family has boldly shared their strong Christian moral beliefs. In the last few months, it’s been exposed that the oldest son, who’s married and is a father of four children, had molested his younger sisters as a teenager, has a pornography addiction and has been unfaithful to his wife numerous times. This all happening while he had a high profile job at a conservative Christian political group in Washington D.C.
We all can look at these things and wonder how it’s possible for someone to get to a place where they could do such horrific things. We fool ourselves to think we are somehow better than that. The reality is that every single one of us is capable of those very same acts. The seed of sin is in all of us. The question is, do you believe that? Do you look at someone else’s monstrous sin and think that you would never be capable of doing that? If so, you are greatly underestimating the power of sin. The fact is sins only purpose is to kill and destroy you.
Jesus very clearly teaches about the danger of sin in Matthew 5:
- Every little grudge, hatred or anger is the seed of murder
- Every lust or sensual fantasy is the seed of adultery
- Every envy or jealously is the seed of robbery
- Every self-pity or self serving attitude is the seed of idolatry
We may think that our little sins are not really that big of a deal. But God thinks otherwise! In Genesis 4 we see God’s warning to Cain about the anger in his heart and where it will lead. It desires to “have” him. He tells Cain in verse 7, “Sin is crouching at the door. It’s desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
Crouching means to make yourself small so as not to be detected. And that’s what sin does, it makes itself small. It makes itself seem safe and harmless.
None of the people mentioned in the situations above arrived there in just one day. There were small compromises along the way. The sin started small and seemed harmless, but that sin was waiting for the opportune moment. It was preparing for the moment to kill. In actuality the sin wasn’t small; it was a monster, a dragon lying in wait. And now we see the results of its monstrosity in the news.
A few years back there was a popular movie entitled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The last few weeks I’ve been thinking of the word picture in that title. It’s just like sin. When a tiger sees it’s prey, it couches low and makes itself small so that it does not seem to be a threat. But we all know what happens when the opportune moment comes. It suddenly rises up, pounces, and devours its prey.
It’s the same with sin. We think our “little sins” aren’t of any concern. We have it tamed, it won’t control us. Reality is you can’t tame sin. It’s crouching at your door and it will have you. Sin is bigger than it looks! It purposefully makes itself small to deceive you! Little lies, little fantasies, a little gossip, little grudges. Their sole purpose is to kill. Sin is crouching, it’s a hidden dragon!
So what do we do? How do we keep ourselves from becoming prey to this crouching tiger?
This quote from John Owen says it clearly: ”Be killing sin, or it will be killing you.” And God clearly tells Cain in Genesis 4:7 “you must rule over it”.
We kill it first by understanding who we are in Christ. Jesus Christ himself has already defeated our enemy and in Christ, we are no longer under sin’s power. Colossians 2:15 says, “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
So we go to the cross, confess and repent from the sin, and then walk in obedience to Him. Walking in community with other believers who can see the sin in us that we often are blinded to is also extremely vital!
You might ask how I know this. I know it because I can see how this has played out in my own life and in the lives of people I love. I now stand on this side of more than one close call with a crouching tiger that was really a hidden dragon.
Don’t underestimate the power of that seemingly little sin. It’s bigger than you think!
1 Peter 5: 8,9. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.