A Preview of Sin's Effect

Moviegoers always love a good trailer. Movie trailers give an audience just enough action to prompt them to want to see the movie in its entirety. And sometimes the opposite is true: A movie trailer will show just enough to prevent a person from wanting to see the movie.

It can be reasonably understood when David saw Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop, he was viewing a “virtual reality,” a “movie trailer” with himself and Bathsheba as key characters. In the full throes of lust, he failed to see what the real life impact of his sin would be: Anguish, guilt, death of a child, blasphemy of the name of God, and years of strife and rebellion in the future, and ultimately his loss of fellowship with God from his sin.

Sin in its “trailer” stage appears harmless. It tempts us with just enough to want to participate and experience the full pleasure. Selfish desires conquer wisdom. Foolish choices are part of the blindness Satan coats our mind with from the true nature of sin (2 Corinthians 4.4-5).

We need to take a wider view and look ahead to what our attitudes or behaviors will do. First, it would be wise to consider the past experiences we had in yielding to sin without thinking. Our previous foolish choices yielded the same guilty, sad consequences. We regretted what we did. Will the next time be any different? Could it not be worse the next time? The weight of the past sin was heavy. What makes us think yielding to sin becomes lighter and less damaging?

Second, make sure you know your sin will find you out (Numbers 32.23). One of temptation’s greatest enticements is your sin will be a secret. The truth is God always knows, and it is just a matter of minutes or hours others find out when we thought we covered our tracks. When they do, our first response is to lie. Our next response is to lie. We compound that lie with another lie. Then, off we go into shame because we are “found out.”

Third, if we do not have a wider picture of what sin does, then consider the expectation of James 1.14-15: “...But each man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own lust, and enticed. Then the lust, when it hath conceived, beareth sin: and the sin, when it is fullgrown, bringeth forth death.” It happens every time.