The Shrinking Lies of Sin


A popular hymn in the church where I grew up began, “I was sinking deep in sin.” I think another song could be written, “I was shrinking deep in sin.” For it seems to me that one effect of sin is to make us smaller.

God created us to live large. Genesis 1:28, the first commandment of them all, is simply huge:

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Jesus stated his purpose in John 10:10,

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

This is what we were meant for. It is about living life to the full, experiencing the best and the most that life has to offer.

Temptation lies to us and says sin has more to offer. My own experience tells me otherwise. Sin narrows my experience, rather than broadening it. If it is sexual temptation, it constricts my view of the woman. The 1970s feminists were on the right track when they objected to being regarded as sex objects. The woman is a whole person, but a purely sexual view regards her in only one limited dimension. It does not make her less of a whole person; it does not shrink her. It shrinks instead the man who falsely sees her as so much less than a whole person. Sexual relations within a faithful, loving marriage are not that way, for the relationship itself is much larger than that, involving a day-long, life-long covenant between two whole people; and marital relationships (unlike most illicit ones, where this is strictly guarded against) have the potential of enlarging into an entire new life in the family.

That is but one example. I could also mention the temptation to anger and impatience at a slow driver blocking the road ahead. What does that anger do but narrow our focus to the bumper in front of us? Nothing exists for us in the whole glorious world but the back end of some annoying car. The sin of impatient anger hides from us that there is a real human in that car. It obscures our view of the rest of the world around us.

it is the same with all sin. Gluttony reduces our world to that of food. Greed reduces our view to what we wish we had. Sloth reduces our world to what we can see and do from our couch. Pride limits our perspective to our own selves.

Sin, which tries to tell us it will enlarge experience, instead makes small our experience of the world. It lies. Above all it shuts out our view of the greatest, largest reality of all, God himself. To seek God and his way is to experience the fullest and best that life has to offer.

2 Responses

  1. Not often, but once in a while, I come across a new way of looking at something. This view of sin is a new perspective to me and one that is right on target. Thanks for the blog entry.

  2. Dale says:

    Interesting way of putting Tom. Thanks.