Even though it has not rained much lately, I still have to often mow the grass in my yard. I mowed grass last Saturday, and this following Tuesday had to mow again.
After the Tuesday mowing, I complained to Terry how badly my feet and legs hurt. She replied with reprimand, “Well, you did not have to mow the grass. It has not rained enough to make it grow. The grass did not need to be mowed.”
Typically, I do not mind mowing the grass. I like keeping my yard neat like you do, too. But, this season has evoked a constant and rigorous effort to keep up with it all.
I replied, “Oh, yes it did, too. It may not have looked like it needed mowed, but it did. It had grown more than what it may have looked like. The mower bogged down two times as I mowed the section below the driveway. Grass growth is as sneaky as sin!”
But, it is true. Like the grass of a yard that needs mowed often before you realize it, sin can grow in your life before you realize it, too. Consider the words of Apostle James, who wrote, “But, every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then, when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin. And, sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”
I probably do not have to tell you that the growth of sin can be a very sneaky experience. And, if you want to keep your life neat before God, it takes constant spiritual vigilance in dealing with it before it grows too much in your life.
But, there are some factors that we tend to forget about sin. First, sin is paramount to a transgression against the law of God. Sin goes against the righteous expectations of our holy God, and carries forth consequences about which God is justified in judging. That is just the spiritual truth of the matter.
Second, we tend to forget the wide variety of sins revealed in the Word of God. We tend to limit sin to sensuality and various forms of drunkenness. Although sins associated with these categories amount to serious transgressions against the law of God, there are other sins equally serious.
For example, Apostle Paul lists others, which include (and, certainly, not limited to), “idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance (equals quarrelsomeness), emulations (equals jealousy), wrath (equals vengeance), strife (equals the desire to pull down others), seditions (equals attempts to form sides), heresies (equals self-vindication of sinful practices with doctrinal stipulations), envyings (equals discontent with the blessings of God), murders (equals which includes inner desires for someone’s death) and revellings.”
These are types of those sneaky sins that grow in a person before it is realized. It takes a lot of spiritual honesty and spiritual introspection to keep such sins mowed down, which leads to another forgotten factor.
It is found in the fact that God forgives sin. He knows that we are sinners not only by nature, but also by choice. But, by nature and choice, too, He is equally the God of love and forgiveness. As we proactively confess and repent of sin before God, He willingly forgives. Through Prophet Isaiah, God says, “I, even I, am He that blots out your transgressions … and will not remember your sins.”
The reason God is able to righteously deal in a forgiving manner with our sins is because of the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the Cross. The blood He shed — and, yes, it required Him shedding blood — provides the means of the forgiveness of sin. The shedding of His blood provides in God’s sight remission of sin, which amounts to release from the guilt and penalty of sin. Jesus Christ did for us what we could not do for ourselves, but He also enabled God to provide wonderful forgiveness.
In so many terms, the forgiveness of God keeps the grass mown.
I have to admit that Jamin helped out a lot with the mowing this summer while he was home. But, now that he is in law school, he is not available to help out. But, I got my eye on that sneaky grass, and my mower primed to mow — as my feet and legs hold up, that is.
The Rev. Ron Branch is pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Mason, W.Va.