Let’s begin with an understanding of how sin creeps into our lives. I am not a theologian, but based on my personal experience, I can see a pattern as to how sin develops in my life. First, it starts with an attraction. Maybe it’s something I see, hear, feel, taste, or smell. Nonetheless, it begins by attracting my senses and stimulating an interest in me. After all, Eve saw that the fruit on the tree of good and evil was attractive. Jessica who was found hiding in the racks of clothing at the store began her journey by seeing an attractive piece of candy on the floor.
Next I find myself thinking about it, wondering about it, and exploring the idea of it. Ok, I confess, not all of my sins I “think” about, some I do without any thought at all. Some are so ingrained that I pass right by the thinking step and right into the next step of just committing the sin. For me, this is how my addictive behaviors remain in tact. I don’t think, I just feel the attraction and move straight to action. But for new sins, I stop and think first. Eve thought, she saw the fruit, she talked to the serpent, and she engaged in a discussion over whether or not to eat the fruit. She most likely remembered Adam having told her not to eat the fruit and pondered this decision. Just like Jessica thought about eating that candy off the store floor.
Then I deny it is a sin or I justify my actions. Just like Eve, I’ll wonder if God really said not to do whatever the sin is. Then if I know the answer, I’ll wonder if there are exceptions or justifications for doing what I want to do. I’ll tell myself that I deserve it, I want it, and I need it.
Finally, I just do it. I tell myself that it was worth it that it was all I had hoped for and more. I feel relief and tell myself that that was not so bad after all. I might even begin thinking about when I can do it again or I might encourage others to join me in my sin. Eve said the fruit was good to eat and encouraged her husband, Adam, to eat of the fruit. Jessica picked up the candy on the store floor and ate it.
Something happens next, which is hard to explain without knowing the Holy Spirit. There is a quiet voice inside of me that whispers something is wrong. It happens shortly after the feeling of relief from committing the sin. It is almost like a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach, or an inability to catch your breath. But you know, you know without being told that you have done something wrong. The pain is deep within my soul, I like Eve, realize that I am naked and ashamed. Jessica, even in her two year old mind, realized that she had done something that I would not like by eating the candy off the store floor.
Then I hide. A perfect example is when I purchase things I knew my husband would not agree with and I hide the bags in the closet or the car. I hide my sin from others or I invite others to join in my hiding. I have found so many places to hide and my favorite is a Bible study. It’s so easy to go to a Bible study, learn more about God’s word, feel good about having studied His word and then go home and yell at my kids for not cleaning their room. Just like Jessica hiding in the racks of the clothes because she knew I would be disappointed in her eating the candy.