“What happens is that I do, not the good I will to do, but the evil I do not intend. But if I do what is against my will, it is not I who do it, but sin which dwells in me.” Romans 7:19-20
If you are like me, you don’t usually go around hurting people you don’t know; at least not intentionally. If you do, reading this blog post is probably not going to have any effect on you.
When we commit sin, we usually hurt someone. Sometimes it may be only ourselves, but often it is someone else, someone we know. Whether it is in thought, word, or deed, sin damages our relationships. One of the saddest things about sin is that it usually hurts someone we love. The obvious one is Christ, but in addition to Him, when we sin, we often hurt our spouse, our children, other family members, or our friends. We may be angry with them, or ourselves, and treat them accordingly, by yelling at, fighting with, or criticizing them. We may gossip about them behind their back, we may withhold kindness from them, or do things on purpose to make their life hard. We may withhold our love as a way to get back at them for things they have said or done to us. As justified as we may feel we are, there is no way to take back our sin against them. The relationship is damaged.
When our relationships with our loved ones suffer, we suffer. Everyone suffers as a result. Relationships can often be repaired, but only through atonement for our sins. We can apologize to them for the hurt we caused. We can also resolve never to do it again, but only through our actions can we make real amends. The people in our lives love us and will usually be willing to forgive us. However, while it is truly sad that we hurt those we love, it is even sadder that we usually repeat our offenses toward them again and again. Basically, because we are not hermits, because we live in relationships with others, there is no way around this dilemma. We are all sinners, and unless we become perfect, the scenario will continue.
For the most part, the people in our lives, our family and friends, are there because they choose to be. We chose them, and they chose us. As with Christ, we love our family and friends, and don’t wish to hurt them. They are just easy targets. They are always there. Thankfully, they are usually willing to put up with more from us, forgive us more, than someone who doesn’t love us or know us as well. The best we can do is make, and keep, ourselves aware of our situation, so we don’t fall back into old habits too easily.
Sin is hurtful to all involved. It damages important relationships. While we should want to eradicate sin from all areas of our lives, hopefully, when we realize that we often hurt the ones we love the most, we will work harder at not doing so. It should make us want to double and triple our efforts!