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Wednesday, May 1, 2013
"Treating the Symptoms of Sin"
"Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10
A man from a rural area came to town to be examined by a doctor. A bad rash had been the reason for the trip. After the usual history-taking followed by a series of tests, the physician advised the patient that he would have to get rid of the dog that was evidently causing the allergic reaction. As the man was preparing to leave the office, the doctor asked him out of curiosity if he planned to sell the animal or give it away. "Neither one," the patient replied. "I'm going to get me one of them second opinions I been reading about. It's a lot easier to find a doctor than a good bird dog."
Although humorous, this illustrates the human nature perfectly. Too often we endure irritation and suffering in order to keep "pet" habits. Our love and enjoyment of bad habits and besetting sins cause us a "rash" of problems, yet we want a solution for the symptom but not for the problem. Let’s face it, our nature is in love with sin. We will justify it, pacify it, and pander to it even though it causes us hardship. Most of the frustrations in our lives are the direct results of our fallen natures. By nature we are lazy, proud, and self-indulgent, and when we live out our lives this way, we experience the consequences. However, our tendency is to focus on fixing the consequence and not rooting out the real problem. After all, we love that "bird dog" too much, so we endure the "rash".
We should not be focused so much on treating the rashes in our lives as much as we should be focused on getting rid of the causes. Instead of trying to medicate the wife's depression and the kid's ADHD, maybe dad should turn his anger over to the Lord. Perhaps, instead of seeking for an "irreconcilable divorce," maybe husband and wife should seek out Biblical counsel and fix the marriage. You see, it seems easier to find some other way to get around our problems, but in reality getting rid of the "bird dog" is the only way.
Are you frustrated with trying to find an easier way than just living God's way? Have you run out of options for treating the symptoms of unrepented sins in your life? Let me give you a prescription that will cure the rash:
I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. Psalm 32:5
He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:6, 7
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Matthew 18:9
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:8-10.
What a remedy for the root problem! Get rid of the "bird dog"!