Would You Call It Sin?

How then can I do this great wickedness,
and sin against God?

Genesis 39:9

It has been very easy to view an immoral act, doctrinal error, or ungodly word as a “moment of weakness,” a “mistake,” and “accident,” “I didn’t mean to,” “It just happened,” “slip of the tongue,” “error in judgment” or an “indiscretion.” From the previous statements, you can tell what we are doing to trivialize the world’s greatest problem - SIN.

Joseph found himself in a difficult position one day when his master’s wife attempted to seduce him (Genesis 39:7-10). It had to be a great temptation of pride to be viewed by woman as handsome. It was not something  she would state once. She would try to woo him every day with the same words and attention. It must also have occurred to Joseph how fearful her wrath would be if he chose to turn away from her advances.

Joseph resisted her without hesitation or embarrassment. His moral convictions were founded in his clear view of sin and his reverence for God. He said to her, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9). Boldly he stood. Courageously he refused. Respectfully he turned away from what would ruin the reputation of both he and Potiphar’s wife. All those are noble causes to maintain godliness, but the main emphasis Joseph gave to his decision was God. This would be sin against himself and her, but his greatest concern was sin against God.

The world tries to ease our minds about sin and its affects by using more acceptable names and using euphemisms for offenses against God. It has weakened our resistance and might light of sin’s harmful effects upon us. To Joseph, sin was not an “error of judgment,” “indiscretion,” or “moment of weakness.” He saw sin for what it was - a serious offense against the Lord. He never downplayed the gravity of the offense. There were no excuses for his defense or apologies for his refusal. This was serious, and he knew it. One bad choice could ruin the rest of his life.

God’s moral standards are absolute. It is only when we see sin as something abhorrent to the Lord that we will be motivated to make right moral judgments. Therefore, we cannot become guilty of calling sin by a “softer name.” It does not change it offensiveness to God nor its cost to us. What then must we do?

Pray for SIGHT to see sin as sin. If you do not know what sin is, search the book - the Bible - which reveals it, defines it, and speaks of its destructive force. The Bible gives the names to sin and describes its habits. Read its description. Know its pattern. See what it has done to others. Ask God to give you clear vision to see it as He views it. If you understand what God did to resolve the prospect of sin, it will be clear to you how He sees it.

View sin as an ENEMY, not a companion. Your family and friends may not know how dangerous sin is. If they presented a temptation to you, would you consider them your enemies? Are you thinking, “It cannot be that bad or else they would have never offered it to me”? The advantage for you to yield is acceptance and approval in their hearts, but what is it in the heart of God? You have a serious decision to make. Sin is your enemy every time. Ask God to burn this fact deep into your spirit. Once you become a friend of sin, leaving it is difficult. Never start, then you will not have to stop.

LOVE what is GOOD. Romans 12:9 says, “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22). Reading and understanding the ugliness of sin should make you search for and desire the opposite. Good results in peace, assurance, and hope. It does not carry embarrassment or excuses. It does not have to lie to protect itself. It never needs to hide. Good does not look for praise, but receives it anyway. Good needs to invite more people to join. Good is what we should want God to create within us. “Teach me Your way, O LORD, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name” (Psalm 86:11). “Create in me a pure heart, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10).

More people need to call good what it is as well. There is no reason not to extol the hope in Christ, the joyful spirit of saints worshipping, God’s grace which saves, and the Bible’s everlasting ability to successfully direct lives from one generation to the next (Deuteronomy 6:1-9). Good needs more exposure than sin. Rather than being so quick to broadcast what is wrong in the world, speak of what good and righteous things have been done. If we did more of that, maybe more people would be so disgusted with sin they would stop it and “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).