There is so much in Christianity today that encourages and supports hurting individuals. We know that we are loved and cared for by God. We talk about the love Jesus has for us and how He died on the cross in substitutionary death for mankind. He has paid for our sins and given us new life. We are new creations in Christ. The old is gone, and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:7).
We are God’s children, and we have access to the Throne of Grace. We can go right before the Father and tell him our needs and struggles. He cares for us and blesses us. He wants what is best for me and teaches me how I can live a life full of contentment and peace.
All of this is so good. All of it is true and right. But I wonder if we have neglected to teach about something else. I wonder if we sometimes forget to discuss sin. We can be as positive as we want, but if we don’t discuss sin, we will end up in a mess.
In Lamentations, Jeremiah points out that the teachers neglected to call the people out on their sin and it was detrimental. “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The prophecies they gave you were false and misleading.” (Lamentations 2:14, NIV)
Sin will take us captive. It will consume our lives and eat away at our spirit and mind. It is unhealthy. It also causes great harm in relationships and breaks down societies. For this reason, we need to discuss it.
Good teachers and leaders will call sin, sin. They won’t euphemize to make it more palatable and acceptable. They will deal with it honestly and expose it. They will use the terminology of the Scripture to describe sin. They will call it an abomination, filthy, deceitful, shameful, debased, perverse, evil, etc.
Loving, honest teachers and leaders know the importance of purity before God. “Be holy for I am holy” (I Peter 1:16). They also know the consequences of sin, “for the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). So they will be honest about sin. The best teachers know that God is just, righteous, holy and pure, and they want us to live that way too.
I would encourage you to seek out leaders who speak honestly about sin. Don’t shy away from them. They actually have your best interest at heart. Honest and worthwhile teaching exposes sin. We will do well to submit to those teachers and leaders that remind us of this and lead us into lives that reflect the glory of God.