If you’ve been tracking the blog this week, you know that together we’ve drawn the conclusion that sin has consequences. This is true even in situations where it feels like we can sin and not get caught. I am thrilled that so many of you were quick to agree that even those actions which we deem “little sins” impact our relationship with God and our testimony.
The Bible makes it clear that sin is a very big deal. But does it spell out the specific consequences of our sin? You bet!
In fact, understanding the exact cost of our sin can go along way toward motivating our feet away from sinful choices. Nancy and Dannah offer a list of consequences on page 140 in LYWB. I love how they backed up each item on this list with Truth straight out of God’s Word. Check it out.
1. Sin steals joy
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit to sustain me” Psalm 51:12.
2. Sin removes confidence
“This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God” 1 John 3:19-21.
3. Sin brings guilt
“For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me” Psalm 51:3.
4. Sin quenches God’s Spirit
“Do not put out the Spirit’s fire” 1 Thessalonians 5:19.
5. Sin brings physical damage
“O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your wrath. For your arrows have pierced me, and your hand has come down upon me. Because of your wrath there is no health in my body; my bones have no soundness because of my sin” Psalm 38:1-3.
“My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak” Psalm 31:10.
6. Sin causes an ache in the soul
“When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer. Then I acknowledged my sin to you and I did not cover up my iniquity. I said ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’—and you forgave the guilt of my sin” Psalm 32:3-5.
7. Sin breaks God’s heart
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” Ephesians 4:30.
8. Sin opens the door to other sins
“‘Woe to the obstinate children,’ declares the Lord, ‘to those who care out plans that are not mine, forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit, heaping sin upon sin’” Isaiah 30:1.
9. Sin breaks fellowship with God
“Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear to dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear” Isaiah 59:1-2.
10. Sin produces fear
“The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are bold as a lion” Proverbs 28:1.
11. Sin desires to control my life
“Jesus replied, ‘ I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin’” John 8:34.
“Do you not know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the on whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16.
We usually sin because we think we will get some pleasure or benefit from it. But these passages make it clear that choosing to do so comes at a serious cost. And this isn’t even a comprehensive list. There are many, many potential consequences for our sin. Based on personal experience I would add strained relationships, anxiety and depression to the list. What potential consequences would you add? Have you experienced these consequences in your own life? How can reflecting on these potential consequences make a difference the next time you face temptation?